Too many voices confuse public, IATF reminded

SPEAKER Alan Peter Cayetano appealed to the members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to have a unified statement with regards the Luzon lockdown in order not to confuse the public.

In a statement, Cayetano said there should be one voice in delivering vital information pertaining to the COVID-19 issues and concerns to avoid confusion and misinterpretation. 

“First and foremost, since empowered na kayo lahat ng ating Pangulo, ang request ko po ay to “speak with one voice.” Uulitin ko po, ha, we speak with one voice. Ibig sabihin, hindi po pwede na different members of the Task Force, iba po ang sasabihin,”  Cayetano said.

“I know that’s not the intention, and I know, sometimes, tricky ‘yung media kasi, ‘pag nagtanong, ‘pag nagkaroon ng clarification, ‘yung context minsan, lalo kung tweet pa lang ‘yun o kung nasa online na hindi kumpleto, kung hindi naman ‘yung buong video, minsan nami-misinterpret,” he added. Citing the differing statements of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año and Health Secretary Francisco Duque III with regard to the issue on whether the enhanced community quarantine will be extended or not, he underscored the need to have unified stance among the members of the IATF so as not to confuse the listening public.

Cayetano said that he understood that the two Secretaries are expressing their opinions in relation to their duties, one on law enforcement and another on health concern but stressed that these matters should be agreed first by the members of the IATF.

“Hindi naman pwede na kung may 15 members ng Task Force, 15 ang opinion. Malilito talaga ang mga tao, at ‘pag nalito ang tao, akala nila nalilito din ang gobyerno. But I’m very confident that, hindi naman ‘yan ang ibig niyong sabihin,” the Speaker said.

The House leader underscored that importance of clarity and simplicity of delivering messages especially during crisis situations to avoid unnecessary miscommunication problems among the various agencies.