PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, April 27, said a shift to a modified community quarantine will happen soon.
“We might open partially...You wait for the...lalabas na ho...modified ang, ano natin, quarantine,” he said in a late-night address to the nation after his meeting with some members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Restrictions will be eased first in sectors where social or physical distancing is possible, the President said.
“Kaya modified muna kasi kung magsiksikan kayo d’yan sa LRT na naman, wala nang katapusan ang problema natin. It will never end and it will bring us down and down,” he added.
He said placing the capital under lockdown early allowed the country to maintain its international credit rating.
“Yung iba kasi, late nag-lockdown. Yung iba, kung ano pa. Tayo, sunod kaagad sa batas,” he said.
Duterte honored the uniformed men, especially those who were wounded or killed in continued attacks by the communist rebels.
He also cited the military who have been transporting personal protective equipment, testing equipment for the novel coronavirus, and other essential materials for the health system.
“Naawa ako sa kanila. Kulang sa tulog, hindi sapat sa sahod, pero that is how it is. Pumasok tayo d’yan, magtiis tayo,” he said.
Meanwhile, Duterte ordered the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to “employ as many employees as required” to allow 24-hour operations.
“Iyong sabi ko we are not operating under normal battle conditions, we are operating in a crisis, kaya sabi ko the FDA , sa DOST mag doble sila ng tao,” Duterte said.
“Pati ‘yung mga laboratories ng DOST, they must run 24 hours. So magdagdag kayo ng maraming medtech or ‘yung mga naka graduate na ng doctor, or anybody na nandiyan sa health services, if you want to volunteer, I have authorized both this offices to emply as many as required,” he added.
Duterte said that the national government will still purchase additional personal protective equipment for the country’s frontliners.
“We are still in the process -- bibili pa tayo ng maraming personal protective kits for our frontliners,” he said.
He added that medicines and aid must be delivered to National Task Force (NTF) Covid-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr., instead of the city health offices which have little to no manpower.
“I am informed that this will be completed in due time, ang utos ko ngayon is i-deliver ninyo ‘yung medicines kay General Galvez, ‘wag na sa city health, because they have no manpower to attend to these things,” Duterte said. (With a report from Jove T. Moya/SunStar Philippines)