Duterte: I don’t want to interfere in House affairs
President Rodrigo Duterte clarified that he does not want to interfere with the affairs of the legislative branch but had to step in to end the impasse on the House Speakership.
“Nobody was sure to vote for whom, and they kept on asking who is the president’s candidate. So I shied away and said, no, if you can resolve the matter comfortably between you, do it,” he said. “I hate to intrude. But apparently, considering what happened in the last few days, and malapit na ang session (the opening of session is already near), I said… it’s time for me to talk.”
Duterte announced term-sharing between Taguig City representative Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque representative Lord Allan Velasco as House speakers.
The chief executive made the announcement on Monday (July 9) during the oath-taking of new presidential appointees.
“Your Speaker will be Alan Peter Cayetano. He shares the term with Lord Velasco,” he said.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said, Cayetano will lead the House for the first 15 months, while Velasco will take over in the next 21 months.
“[In] the next 21 months, the Speaker will be Lord Allan Velasco, with Martin Romualdez as the majority leader,” he said.—AAC
Duterte urges public not to be choosy with COVID-19 vaccine brands
MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte urged the public anew not to be choosy with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine brands.
During his Talk to the People on Tuesday night (October 19), Duterte expressed optimism over developments in the country’s vaccine supply as the government moves to build herd immunity.
However, he reminded the public to remain vigilant by continuing to follow health protocols; get vaccinated and avoid being choosy with vaccine brands.
“Do you know, if these vaccines that we have been giving to the population are not really effective and right, marami nang patay ngayon (many people would’ve been dead by now),” he said.
The president reiterated that the national government is trying hard to fight against the pandemic, and expressed his gratitude to other nations that provided aid to the Philippines.
“We’ve been trying hard, really hard to fight. [This] COVID program nakatutok kami lahat dito (we are all focused on this). I’d like to thank everybody who have really contributed to what we are now seeing,” he said. AAC
PH to expand vaccination rollout for minors in 13 more hospitals
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines will expand its vaccination rollout for minors, aged 12 to 17, to 13 more hospitals.
President Rodrigo Duterte during his Talk to the People on Tuesday (October 19) announced that 13 more hospitals will participate in the vaccination program for the said age group.
“We will expand the vaccination of this adolescent age group of 12 to 17 by adding 13 more hospitals in the NCR. Currently, we have an initial eight participating hospitals and we hope to expand this number [of hospitals] and we also welcome the arrival of additional vaccines in the coming days,” Duterte said.
National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. said they are raising their daily vaccination target to 1.5 million.
“We will be opening the general population, then the pilot of children vaccination, and we are ramping up the vaccination of students, teachers, and tourism personnel, OFWs, and seafarers,” he said.
Galvez said they can accelerate the vaccination of children to support the opening of the classes and economic recovery.
Around 1,500 minors with comorbidities were vaccinated during the pilot vaccination in eight hospitals, the Department of Health (DOH) reported. Among those inoculated, only four experienced minor side effects. AAC
Duterte takes blame for lack of vaccine supply in early 2021
MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte has taken the blame for the Philippines’ vaccine shortage in the early months of 2021.
During his weekly public address on Monday evening (October 11), Duterte lamented that it was difficult to get vaccines back then especially when the country has no vaccine manufacturing company. He said that the country had to fight with other nations just to get supplies.
Duterte added that he deserves the blame since he is the one seated in office.
“Iyan ang nakabigay ng problema sa akin at kung mayroon man nagkasala diyan, aminin ko na lang. Kasi wala rin ako magawa, gusto ko bumili, wala naman ako mabilihan,” he said.
However, the chief executive said the vaccine supply in the country has improved which helped bring down the number of cases.
He reported that the weekly average of new COVID-19 cases has dropped to less than 10,000 while the current reproduction rate of the virus has gone down to .77 percent.
“If we continue to ramp up the vaccination of our people, along with our consistent practice of mask and there is gradual resumption of our economic activities, then we can hope for a better and truly merry Christmas,” he said. AAC