“FIRST, President Duterte has been frank about the true extent of the crisis, making it clear that unless we have a reliable, mass-produced vaccine, there is no return to “normal”: “Ang Covid hindi matatapos ‘yan. It will be here; it will stay until kingdom come pero kung may bakuna na, baka sakaling mauna tayo.’
“Second, Mr. Duterte has shown the political will to extend a difficult and economically devastating lockdown in order to protect public health. This stands in stark contrast to Trump’s itch to restart the American economic engine.
“Third, the President has shown a growing spirit of collaboration with scientists, most notable during his recent dialogue with former health secretaries, including at least one from the opposition.
“Fourth, while Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro have been busy firing competent officials, Mr. Duterte has recruited competent and young technocrats to assist his ongoing efforts, such as Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles and new [Acting] Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Chua.
“And finally, the President, in a rare sign of national unity, has rightly shown due respect and appreciation for Vice President Leni Robredo. There is so much room for improvement, but there is also reason to hope.” (more…)