Duterte on reopening the economy: ‘We cannot afford to gamble’
Marje Pelayo • July 9, 2020 • 450
MANILA, Philippines — The country is not yet ready to fully reopen its economy, according to President Rodrigo Duterte.
The Chief Executive said the government is doing the process gradually, otherwise the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections would spike that could lead to a bigger problem.
He said he cannot follow the example of other countries because the Philippines does not have as much resources if the situation gets worse.
“Tayong pobre we cannot afford really a total epidemic or pandemonium. Mahirap tayo. Hindi tayo puwedeng sumugal (As a poor country, we cannot afford really a total epidemic or pandemonium. We are poor. We cannot afford to gamble),” the President said during his public address on Tuesday evening (July 7).
President Duterte cited situations in the United States and Brazil where despite being powerful and wealthy, are not spared from the impact of the pandemic.
“Although they opened their economy for money to come into the government coffers, there was a spike. They were having a problem of almost a relapse — in the totality of the number,” he added.
Meanwhile, the President expressed doubts that the country has entered the second wave of COVID-19 outbreak.
“Now we do not even know if the number of 34, 178 of active cases is still a part of the first wave or have we arrived at the second wave. I don’t think so. We are still grappling with the first wave,” he argued.
He urged Filipinos to obey strict health protocols and have more patience as the government works to combat the pandemic.
“Mga kababayan ko, ako mismo gusto ko nang lumabas. Ayoko nang magpapigil. Kung gusto ko nga makipag-away na ako. Ang problema iyon ang gusto ko, pero ang gusto ko ay hindi makakabuti sa ating lahat,” he said.
(My fellow countrymen, I personally I want to go out. I don’t want to be barred from doing so. I am even ready to fight over this. The problem is, what I want is not good for everyone.)
“We have to be very circumspect in reopening the economy. Dahan-dahan lang (Let’s do it gradually), because if you open the entire Philippines and thousands upon thousands of new cases would happen, then we are in deep s***. Talagang mahirapan tayo (We will seriously struggle),” he said. MNP (with inputs from Rosalie Coz)
Consumers in Metro Manila flocked to grocery stores after President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday night, approved the reversion of some areas to Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) in response to the medical frontliners’ plea for a two-week “timeout”.
This prompted Malacañang on Monday to remind the public not to panic buy amid the implementation of MECQ in the National Capital Region (NCR).
“Walang dahilan para mag-panic buying. Supplies are high, delivered in supermarkets in anticipation of bigger demand prior to MECQ,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
The Palace official reiterated that only essential establishments will remain open including supermarkets, banks, and hospitals. He also said that the “time out” will be used to strengthen the government’s testing, tracing, and treatment of COVID-19.
“This is primarily to accede to the demand of the frontliners for a break. A ‘time out,'” Roque said. AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)
The Pamantasang Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) will be placed under a two-week lockdown due to the high number of staff that tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“There are currently four confirmed cases, with two recovered patients and one fatality among employees. There are also three probable and one suspect cases,” PLM President Emmanuel Leyco said in a statement.
BREAKING: Mayor Isko approves two-week quarantine at PLM amid rising COVID-19 casesManila City Mayor Francisco ‘Isko…
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso has approved their request and the PLM management will be adopting a strict work-from-home arrangement for employees for the next two weeks.
“As a University which produces doctors, nurses and medical professionals, we believe it is necessary to respond to the public health crisis by listening to science and the inputs of medical experts,” Leyco said. AAC
A Monterrey-based advertising company in Mexico changed its set of operations and now offers local residents the opportunity to rent a glass-enclosed mobile cabin to present newborns to family amid the ongoing pandemic.
A glass-enclosed mobile cabin arrives at the venue and is deep cleaned before proud parents and newborn make their entrance, while relatives and friends drive past honking their horns to take a peek at the baby.
Only close relatives are then allowed to get down from their vehicles in order to get a closer look. Renting the cabin costs $900 pesos ($40 dollars) per hour.
Adman Ernesto Gonzalez, came up with the enterprise because his daughter was born in June and he was worried that his 95-year-old grandmother would be unable to meet her.
Mexico racked up a record number of new confirmed coronavirus infections on Saturday (August 1), registering more than 9,000 daily cases for the first time and passing the previous peak for the second day running, official data showed.
Mexico’s health ministry reported 9,556 new cases of coronavirus, surging past the record of 8,458 set on Friday. The ministry also logged 784 additional fatalities, bringing the total tally in the country to 434,193 cases and 47,472 deaths. (Reuters)
(Production: Daniel Becerril, Rodolfo Pena Roja, Geraldine Downer)
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