HOUSE Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez on Thursday expressed confidence that life returning to normal is attainable sooner than expected through the support and cooperation of the Filipino people on President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte’s efforts to defeat coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Although no one knows exactly how long it will take to get life to normal again, Romualdez, who presided three technical working group (TWG) meetings of the Defeat COVID-19 Committee (DCC) with the economic stimulus and health clusters, said the commitment of the House of Representatives under the leadership of Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and the government to solving the crisis will pay off soon.
"We continue to believe that with hard work, perseverance, and cooperation in the support for our people, we can work our way back to stability and normalcy even as we plan the future according to the lessons we have learned during the most difficult and challenging time," Romualdez, the co-chairperson of DCC with Cayetano.
Romualdez, the chairman of the powerful House committee on rules, said the Duterte administration in partnership with Congress has been steadfast and relentless on its efforts to defeat COVID-19, especially in passing the economic stimulus package that would ensure continuity of business operations and jobs retention.
“We are working very hard so that our pre-COVID pandemic life will likely return soon,” said Romualdez, both president of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) and Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa).
He said health experts around the world, including Filipino scientists are devoting their time to develop a possible vaccine against COVID-19.
“In the meantime, while the whole world is racing against time to develop anti-COVID vaccine, let’s make our immune system stronger through healthy lifestyle. Our campaign is to win back and restore normalcy to our daily lives. Let’s listen, support and cooperate with President Duterte’s appeal and programs that are intended to eliminate the pandemic,” Romualdez explained.
In a related development, House senior Deputy Minority Leader and Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin, a former secretary of the Department of Health (DoH), backed Malacañang’s call for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to study the effectiveness of the Fabunan anti-viral injection in curing COVID-19.
“I fully support Malacanang's call to have the Fabunan viral injection studied by FDA. Is it indeed an effective cure? Is it under clinical trial? If it's for clinic use, there should still be medical transparency. If this viral injection is what it claims to be, then let's have the FDA study its effectiveness and make a pronouncement whether it's safe or not,” said Garin.
“At this point, the world is desperate for a cure but we should also be careful and avoid unnecessary medical expense. We should be wary of the things we read, see or watch in social media. Not all trending posts about COVID-19 cures are backed up by science. Yung iba nagte-trend lang kasi gusto natin paniwalaan na totoo nga, na may gamot na laban sa sakit na ito at hindi natin masisisi ang mga tao na gusto nila paniwalaan ito. We all want a vaccine, a medicine to save us from COVID-19 but we should be more critical of viral posts on social media. Let us put forward products which are scientifically and medically proven to help us fight COVID-19,” Garin stressed.
Based on a now-deleted video that circulated on social media this month, it claimed that Fabunan, a patented anti-viral drug against dengue developed by Washington-based Filipino doctor Ruben Fabunan, has been “proven to be used to treat COVID-19” and is already an “approved” drug.