The OCTA Research Team, who has been studying the coronavirus outbreak in the Philippines, said that it will continue to publicize its monitoring reports about the COVID-19 situation in the country.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque had earlier appealed to OCTA, a private research group composed primarily of faculty members and alumni of the University of the Philippines (UP), with contributors from the University of Sto. Tomas and US-based Providence College, to just send their reports and recommendations “privately” to the pandemic task force.
“We will still commit in helping with the fight against COVID-19 and we will continue our analytics at ang pagbibigay ng impormasyon sa ating publiko (and give information to the public),” Dr. Butch Ong of the OCTA Research said during a virtual “Laging Handa” briefing Thursday.
Ong emphasized that their group aims to help in controlling the COVID-19 in the country by providing data that can be used by various sectors in the society for decision making.
“The OCTA Research Team has been providing the public and also the government and all stakeholders data regarding the COVID-19 situation not only in NCR, not only in the whole country, but also in certain areas, LGUs, or barangays,” he said.
UP Prof. Ranjit Rye had earlier said that his team has decided to still release their reports to the public which they said was their accountability to Filipinos amid the health crisis.
“’Yung role naman namin is to educate the citizens, ipaalam sa kanila ang estado ng COVID-19 sa bansa dahil alam namin na kapag informed ang ating mga kababayan, mas makakapag-desisyon sila ng maayos,” Rye said.
(Our role here is to educate the citizens, inform them of the true state of the COVID-19 situation in the country because we know that if they are well-informed, they can make better decisions)
“Lahat tayo ay frontliners na. Kaya the more informed we are about the state of the virus, the better we are able to adjust and react as a citizen. Tuluy-tuloy po ang report namin at ibibigay namin ang recommendations namin sa media at sa gobyerno para hindi lang ang government ang informed, pati na rin ang bayan,” he added.
(We are all now frontliners. So, the more informed we are about the state of the virus, the better we are able to adjust and react as a citizen. We will continue our report and we will give our recommendations to the media and the government so that not only the government is informed, but also the public)
According to Rye, the team plans to instead “recalibrate” their reports for the public to better understand the terms being used but still with up to date and accurate data.
Rye said quarantine classifications can be given separately to local government units involved as he said this is a “political decision.”
Roque had also earlier discouraged the research team from making its recommendations public to avoid confusion after the group urged the government to implement stricter lockdown measures in Bauan in Batangas, Calbayog in Western Samar, and General Trias in Cavite due to an increase in coronavirus cases in the past two weeks.