Provincial Board Member Elpidio Bonita has called out PB Member Vierna Boniel-Maglasang for publicly accusing the legislative body of inaction in light of the novel coronavirus (nCoV) scare in the province, saying that she was “grandstanding” at the expense of her colleagues.
Bonita, in a privilege speech during a regular session on Tuesday, pushed for the PB to request Boniel to take down a Facebook post which indicated that her “pleas” for the legislative body to pass a resolution that would temporarily ban the entry of “Chinese tourists” fell on deaf ears.
“It is not true that she made her plea to us…It is a lie that her pleas have fallen on deaf ears,” Bonita said.
Maglasang who was not present during the session was contacted for comment but had yet to respond as of press time.
Bonita, a licensed physician and chair of the PB’s committee on health, also pushed the PB to request Maglasang to apologize to the members of the legislative body for her statement.
He said that the statement was “not good” for the camaraderie among PB members, who should be “more circumspect” in airing their thoughts on Facebook considering that they are public officials.
“We should not be like ordinary Facebook users who just write whatever they think and feel every time they use the internet,” Bonita said.
Maglasang posted her statement on Facebook on January 31, 2020.
“Much as I want to prod my fellow legislators to come up with a policy stand or a resolution calling for a temporay ban on the entry of Chinese tourists to our province to safeguard the health and welfare of our people, it appears that my pleas have fallen on deaf ears,” she said.
“We must be proactive and not reactive. It pains me that most of my fellow legislators do not see things this way,” she added.
Bonita said Maglasang was “misinformed” as he cited the provincial government’s actions amid the nCoV scare including meetings called by the Provincial Health Office and the establishment of a technical working group (TWG) that would tackle issues on the fast-spreading disease.
Bohol remains free of the nCoV, but a 31-year-old Chinese woman is being confined at an isolation room in Tagbilaran City after exhibiting flu-like symptoms.
The spokesperson of the TWG Dr. Yul Lopez said that she is getting better as her symptoms started to subside since she was confined starting Friday last week.
They will still await however test results from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa City that would indicate whether or not she is indeed infected with a coronavirus strain.
Malacañang on Sunday last week imposed a temporary travel ban that bars foreign travelers to and from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau amid the threat of the nCoV.
Later on the same day, the Department of Health reported the first death of a patient who tested positive for nCoV, bringing to two the total number of confirmed cases in the country. (R. Tutas)