MANILA, Philippines – Senator Cynthia Villar on Monday morning cast her vote in Las Piñas City along with her husband, former Senator Manny Villar.
The Villar couple voted around 9 a.m. at their assigned voting precinct in Las Piñas Science BF Resort in Talon 2.
They were wearing orange, their family’s signature political campaign color.
Accompanying them were their children, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, Paulo, and Camille, who is gunning for a congressional seat.
Cynthia Villar, who is seeking reelection, has been topping political survey polls before the elections. In the recent Pulse Asia pre-election survey, she enjoyed a solo lead edging out Senator Grace Poe.
Meanwhile, Vice President Leni Robredo also voted in her bailiwick in Naga, Camarines Sur on Monday morning.
She arrived at 9:52 a.m. in her designated polling precinct in Tabuco Central School Cluster 112 together with her two daughters, Tricia and Aika.
No special treatment was given to the Robredos who fell in line outside of the polling precinct as they waited for their turn to cast their votes.
After successfully casting her vote around 10:42 a.m., Robredo briefly talked to reporters where she admitted that she feels nervous for this midterm elections.
She also described the opposition slate’s bid to win the polls as “an uphill battle.”
“Napaka-uphill nung battle pero in the last several weeks nakita namin ‘yung passion ng mga volunteers, ano ‘yun unrivaled,” she said.
“Parang pinakahuli kong nakita ‘yung ganun na passion nung 1986 pa kahit noong pagtakbo ko noong 2016 kahit marami kaming volunteers iba yung passion ngayon. Parang kabado para sa bansa hindi naman for the individual candidates we are supporting,” she added.
Robredo has been campaigning for the opposition slate “Otso Diretso.” But of the eight senatorial bets, only Senator Bam Aquino was able to enter the so-called “winning circle.”
Aquino got in 9th to 15th place in the latest Pulse Asia Pulso ng Bayan Pre-Electoral Nationwide Survey on the May 2019 Senatorial and Party-List Elections.
Senator Cynthia Villar on Sunday clarified her earlier statement and said that it was government leaders and not medical frontliners who need to work harder against the spread of COVID-19.
Villar received backlash after commenting on the health professionals’ request to revert Metro Manila back to Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) due to the surge of COVID-19 cases. She said she was not in favor of placing Metro Manila under ECQ due to its economic impact and noted the importance of ‘working harder’ — seemingly referring to the health professionals.
In a statement, the Senator stressed that she was not referring to health professionals and other medical workers.
“We have to work harder and better, but I am not referring in particular to the medical workers–our frontliners. We are referring to all of us and DOH and Philhealth in particular. There is so much room for improvement in the government’s response to curb the transmission of the disease,” she said in a statement.
Villar said she is aware of the sacrifices of health frontliners. Meanwhile, she also urged the public to follow health protocols imposed by health experts.
“We all want to be safe and COVID-free. All of us are doing a difficult balancing act to keep people safe and alive. We all need to keep our jobs, the economy, to do our respective roles to sustain this. All of us have to work harder and better,” she said.
The office of Vice President (OVP) Leni Robredo has purchased P14 million worth of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test kits developed by the scientists from the University of the Philippines (UP).
In a statement, the OVP said the test kits will be delivered to hospitals certified as laboratories for COVID-19 testing. These include San Lazaro Hospital, Lung Center of the Philippines, V. Luna Hospital, and Bicol Regional Diagnostic and Reference Laboratory.
The testing kits will help in conducting a total of 10,000 tests.
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) previously said the UP-National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) and Philippine Genome Center aim to increase test kit production as well as increase COVID-19 testing capacity per day.
“With the deployment of the test kits, UP-NIH will increase its capacity to run more tests per day, as each unit of the GENAMPLIFY™ COVID-19 test kit can run 25 tests at once and provide results within two hours,” the DOST said in the statement.
Deputy Executive Director of the Philippine Genome Center Dr. Raul Destura said there is 8,000 to 10,000 tests produced daily and they aim to increase it by 16,000 tests per day by May 1. AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)
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