President Duterte tells Filipinos not in the frontlines: “Stay home. Huwag matigas ang ulo”

Calls on gov’t, local officials to ensure fast delivery of basic needs of health facilities

President Rodrigo Duterte addresses the nation seeking cooperation in fight against COVID-19 on Tuesday night, March 24, 2020. (Screenshot from RTVM video/Courtesy RTVM)


(Eagle News) – President Rodrigo Duterte called on all Filipino to “participate in this war” against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) by staying at home, and for all agencies to ensure fast delivery of basic medical supplies to health facilities.

“I now call 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,” he said in a televised address to the nation on Tuesday night, March 24.

“I repeat: Stay home. Huwag matigas ang ulo. The outcome of this war depends largely on you as well,” the President said.

He called on “relevant agencies to ensure the speedy delivery of basic medical supplies and equipment to health facilities.”

-Duterte to all officials:  Cut red tape-

“From the approval, importation and to the delivery, everything must go smoothly to make sure that we do not waste time,” he said.

President Duterte told all government and local officials to cut the red tape and eliminate delays.

“Cut red tapes. I do not want red tapes. I do not want so many questions,” he said.

Kung gusto ninyong magluko, huwag ngayon itong panahon na ito,” he warned.

-Duterte salutes frontliners-

The President made his address to the nation as he thanked all those in the frontlines, saluting them especially the doctors and medical practitioners who died while treating coronavirus patients.

“I am saddened by the news that the virus has claimed the lives of our doctors along the way. Lahat po sila ay bayani and not only that, talagang bumilib ako.” he said.

Bihira akong sumasaludo ng tao pero ‘pag mga doktor natin, mga health workers na nadisgrasya, talagang saludo ako sa inyo. Wala na kayo dito sa mundong ito pero ganun na lang ang pagtingin ko sa inyo.”

-Common enemy is COVID-19-

The President stressed that there is one common enemy at this time, and beating COVID-19 needs the cooperation of everyone. He also called his “fellow public servants” to set aside 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,” he said.

“As President, I assure you, I assure the public that the government will be on top of this situation at all times. We will not leave anyone behind. Sabay sabay nating labanan ang COVID-19 para sa kabutihan ng lahat,” Duterte said.

He said that the Filipino spirit is tougher and stronger than the virus.

Matindi ang kalaban. But we will not surrender. Hindi tayo susuko. Tayo ay lalaban. Yes, things will not be easy. [But] we Filipinos are tough. Mas malakas ang Pilipino sa anumang hamon,” he stressed.

Duterte, who is turning 75 on March 28, assured that the Philippine government would do all that it can to protect and help the people. He also asked for patience and understanding as government works to fight the pandemic.

“I ask the entire country for your patience, understanding and utmost cooperation. With your support, I am confident that we will emerge triumphant.

Huwag kayong matakot. Nandito ‘yung gobyerno ninyo para kayo pagsilbihan at totoong pagsilbihan,” he added.

Before his televised message to the nation, President Duterte signed into law the “Bayanihan, We Heal as One Act” that gives him additional powers to address the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis in the country.

(Eagle News Service)