On Wednesday, June 8, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte called for citizens of the Philippines to understand that the government’s actions for gradually reopening the economy is to jumpstart it first all the while protecting public health in the midst of a pandemic.
“I’m sorry but I cannot really kumbaga bitawan ko kayo, I will remove the leash — leash ‘yung tali. Pakawalaan na kayo kasi hindi ko kaya ang…The resultant happening or the resultant endgame there is too horrible to ponder,” the President said in a public address.
“I cannot make a guess. Governance is not made of guesses. It has to be anchored on pure science. Kaya naman malapit na.”
In light of the significant increases of COVID-19 infections from countries around the world reopening their economies such as the US and Brazil, the President said the Philippines cannot follow them on that path.
“We cannot afford really a total epidemic or pandemonium. Mahirap tayo, hindi tayo puwedeng sumugal. I cannot follow the example of other countries because as the experience have shown as of now, there were a lot of countries also opening up,” he said.
“Now, what really happened in these countries was that although they opened their economy for money to come in to the government coffers, ang nangyari is there was a spike. They were having a problem of almost a relapse, parang relapse sa in the totality of the number.”
However, the President expressed confidence that a vaccine or cure may be available late this year because of the aggressive global efforts being undertaken.