President Rodrigo Roa Duterte holds a meeting with some members of his Cabinet to discuss updates on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Presidential Security Group (PSG) Compound in Malacañang Park on March 24, 2020. TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte assured the Filipino people on Tuesday that the entire government is working hard to safeguard public health and safety in the midst of the threat posed by COVID-19 and thanked Congress for granting him special powers.

In his message to the nation, President Duterte vowed to address different issues brought about by the pandemic as well as ensure the protection of the people, especially frontliners.

Supplies of food, water and other essentials will be provided to the people as the country fights the coronavirus, he said, adding financial assistance will be extended especially to the marginalized and vulnerable groups.

He made a renewed appeal calling on every Filipino to participate in “this war by following the guidelines set by the national government and your local officials”.

“Nothing is more important now than your cooperation. I repeat: Stay at home. Huwag matigas ang ulo. The outcome of this war depends largely on you as well,” he said in his message.

The President also asked relevant agencies to ensure the speedy delivery of basic medical supplies and equipment to health facilities so that everything goes smoothly and without delay.

He then made an appeal to his fellow public servants, saying, “Let us set aside our differences and work in solidarity to overcome this pandemic. We only have one common enemy and that is COVID-19. Our transparency, integrity, accountability and responsiveness are needed and I expect all of you to exercise all these in safeguarding our fellow Filipinos”.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte holds a meeting with some members of his Cabinet to discuss updates on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Presidential Security Group (PSG) Compound in Malacañang Park on March 24, 2020. TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

The government is on top of the situation, the President said, as he asked Filipinos for their patience, understanding and cooperation. With their support, the nation will emerge triumphant, he stressed.

Also in his message, President Duterte expressed his gratitude to Congress for granting the executive department with special powers with the approval of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act aimed at effectively responding to the challenges caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

He praised Senate President Vicente Sotto III and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano for their strong and decisive leaderships.

The President also announced Tuesday that the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), along with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), are ramping up the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) to reinforce the efforts of the Department of Health in containing COVID-19.

The secretary of national defense, serving as the national action plan chair with the secretary of the interior and local government as vice chair, will provide regular report on the National Action Plan.

The President’s message to the nation came as the Philippines started the second week of community quarantine and its enhanced form in Metro Manila and various parts of Luzon in a bid to contain the highly contagious virus that has also spread globally.

Frontliners against COVID-19 receive morale booster from President Duterte

As the country starts the second week of Luzon-wide community quarantine, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte lauded the contributions of the country’s frontliners against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), assuring them of government support to emerge victorious.

“First, let me reiterate my sincerest gratitude to all our courageous frontliners in this war, especially our healthcare workers—our doctors, nurses, medical technologists, and other allied health professionals,” President Duterte said Tuesday in his message to the nation.

“Maraming, maraming salamat. Asahan n’yo ang suporta ng inyong gobyerno.”

The President said he was saddened by the news that the virus has claimed the lives of doctors taking care of the sick, describing them as heroes that deserve recognition.

“Lahat po sila ay bayani and not only that, talagang bumilib ako. Bihira akong sumasaludo ng tao pero ‘pag mga doktor natin, mga health workers na nadisgrasya, talagang saludo ako sa inyo.”

He also recognized the efforts made by the officials and staff of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging and Infectious Diseases (IATF) for effectively managing the emergency situation.

The uniformed personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) also received praises from the commander-in-chief for ensuring peace and order in the country as the government strives to halt the virus.

President Duterte also thanked other frontliners that include various government agencies, groceries, banks, food establishments, and delivery services who ensure that basic services are provided to the people.

The members of the private sector were also given recognition for foregoing profit to alleviate the suffering of the people. Volunteers, who supplemented frontline agencies in battling the disease, were also recognized.

Civil society organizations, working tirelessly to call for donations and to perform charity work, must also be praised for their kindness, compassion and generosity, according to the President.

Stay updated with news and information from the Presidential Communications Operations Office by visiting their website at

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