President Duterte favors slow, “very circumspect” reopening of the economy

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Presidential Guest House in Panacan, Davao City on July 7, 2020. JOEY DALUMPINES/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO


(Eagle News) – President Rodrigo Duterte said that the country should be “very circumspect” in reopening the economy as the COVID-19 virus continues to infect many while there is no vaccine in sight.

In his talk to the nation at past 1 a.m. on Wednesday, July 8, the President said that opening the entire Philippines would mean thousands more being infected and will put the country in a more dire economic situation.

While recoveries are increasing and so far have reached 11,453, with the addition of a record high of 380 new recoveries, Duterte said that this is still not the time to be complacent.

He said he cannot follow what other countries like the United States which have eased lockdown measures even if they have a high number of cases.

Tayo hong pobre 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. And first was Japan, then Korea, followed by China and the United States,” President Duterte said.

-Avoiding relapse in cases –

In these countries there was a “relapse” with COVID-19 cases again rising.

“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. Iyon ang mahirap,” he said.

The Philippines as of Tuesday, July 7, has a total of 41,830 cases. Of this number, 34,178 are active cases.

Duterte said that this is still probably part of the first wave of transmission.

“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 said.

So mga kababayan ko ginusto ko man — ako, ako mismo personal gusto ko nang lumabas. Ayaw ko nang magpapigil. Eh kung gusto ko nga makipag-away na ako.”

Ang problema is ‘yon ang gusto ko pero ang gusto ko hindi makapabuti sa ating lahat,” he stressed.

The President said that the opening of the economy should be done slowly, and if there is a spike in cases in the country, the move would be further calibrated.

-President Duterte on reopening of economy: Dahan-dahan lang

“And so we have to be very circumspect in reopening of the economy. Dahan-dahan lang,” he said.

Duterte favors that the numbers of people allowed to go out are calibrated, to prevent thousands of new cases.

“And if ever there is going to be a spike again, baka marami ang infected or re-infected, at least ‘yung calibrated numbers of people we allowed to go out would be still within manageable numbers,” he said.

The President also admitted that the country’s finances are at a difficult level, so opening up the entire country is out of the question, especially as there is still no vaccine yet against COVID-19.

“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. Unang-una wala tayong pera. Well, of course, sabi ng mga doktor ngayon, ventilators iyong paggamit niyan is the last option of a person sick with COVID,” he said.

“So there are still many things that can be done. Our doctors have a — well the Philippines have well innovated some sort of just meeting the crisis halfway. Some have resorted to melatonin, others have… Pero ‘yung quinine ay talagang — this was debunked by experts all over the world. It’s not really for the use of COVID-19,”Duterte added.

During Wednesday’s briefing, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III revealed that Cebu City will remain under enhanced community quarantine, while Metro Manila and other areas presently under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) will still remain under GCQ.

Other areas are placed either under Modified GCQ (MGCQ) or under low-risk MGCQ.

President Duterte, however, said that the situation is still rather dynamic, and community quarantine protocols may change depending on the situation on the ground.

(Eagle News Service)