A GRATEFUL President Rodrigo Duterte spent the first few minutes of his final State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday, July 26, 2021, expressing his gratitude to all who contributed in the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, from the frontliners to the country's international development partners.
"I would like to extend my personal and the nation's gratitude to all those who selflessly gave their all in the fight against Covid-19," he said.
Duterte has repeatedly thanked the medical frontliners, whom he has included in his list of modern-day heroes, in previous speeches.
This time, he thanked them for risking their lives to continue providing health services as well as the other frontliners who have kept providing essential services.
He expressed "deep appreciation" for the generosity of the private sector, whose leaders immediately responded to his call for assistance.
Duterte assured that the government is committed to assist the private sector in regaining the vibrancy of the economy.
The President also thanked local government executives, who have been forced to step up and respond to the pandemic.
"I am glad to have seen you undertake new and heightened responsibility, working doubly hard to protect your constitutents," Duterte said.
He also thanked the country' s international development partners which extended assistance. The Philippines has received donations of vaccines, personal protective equipment and other items necessary in the fight against the pandemic.
"The Philippines remembers your kindness and goodwill with sincere gratitude," Duterte said.
Finally, Duterte thanked the Filipinos who heeded the government's call to comply with the minimum health protocols.
"To all of you who anserwered the call to protect one another by adhering to the nation's protocols, daghang salamat (thank you very much)," he said.
The minimum public health standards include the wearing of face masks and face shields, and observing physical distancing.
The Philippines has 1,555,396 confirmed Covid-19 cases as of July 26, with 27,247 deaths. (Marites Villamor-Ilano / SunStar Philippines)