Lawmaker opposes Octa Research qualification survey
A top Mindanao lawmaker opposes the congressional inquiry into OCTA Research’s research qualifications and methodologies, even as he counted the research and consulting firm among the heroes of the pandemic.
House Deputy Speaker and Cagayan de Oro representative Rufus Rodriguez described the OCTA researchers as “highly qualified” and their findings “accurate and supported by data”.
“I oppose their resolution calling for an investigation into OCTA. Instead of being investigated, this group should be supported, encouraged and invited to continue its good work and the great help it brings to our country in the fight against this crippling health crisis, ”he said. -he declares.
Rodriguez said he will formally manifest his motion when the House Good Governance Panel holds a hearing on House Resolution 2075 tabled by Representatives Bernadette Herrera, Kristine Singson-Meehan, Sharon Garin, Stella Luz Quimbo and Jesus Suntay.
“It will only distract OCTA from its work. It will not contribute to our collective effort to fight the raging novel coronavirus and its highly infectious variants, ”Rodriguez said.
Earlier, the five lawmakers crossed party lines to demand an investigation into the “qualifications, research methodologies, partnerships and membership” of OCTA Research.
A group of faculty members and alumni from the University of the Philippines, OCTA Research analyzes trends in COVID-19 cases and publishes its regular recommendations.
Last year, Malacañang told OCTA Research to stop publishing its recommendations and relay its suggestions to the Interagency Working Group for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), but in private.
Rodriguez, however, saw the benefit of the group’s analysis and recommendations.
He recalled how OCTA Research warned that COVID-19 cases were on the rise in areas outside of Metro Manila, including the city of Cagayan de Oro, where there was a 75% spike in infections.
Rodriguez said the warning prompted him and local officials to ask for more vaccines and other assistance to help control the increase in cases.
Twelve days later, OCTA Research again reported that the city was still a high-risk area due to an increase in COVID-19 cases.
Rodriguez said his letters to the IATF asking for more vaccines and health responses led President Duterte to order the recalibration of vaccine distribution in critical areas like his city.
The health ministry later reported that five of the 11 local people infected with the Delta variant were from the city of Cagayan de Oro and one from Misamis Oriental.
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