President Rodrigo Roa Duterte updates the nation on the government's efforts in addressing the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on March 30, 2020.
Presidential Photo/King Rodriguez
FULL TEXT: Nation Address of President Rodrigo Duterte on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic
(Philstar.com) - March 31, 2020 - 11:40am

Presidential Communications Operations Office

Presidential News Desk

NATION ADDRESS OF PRESIDENT RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE ON CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 (COVID-19) PANDEMIC

[Malacañan Palace, Manila | 30 March 2020]

Sa ikatlong linggo sa ating pakigbisog against a formidable enemy.

As always, I give my sincerest gratitude to all those who are fighting in the frontlines: Our doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, police, soldiers, civil servants and everyone performing essential services in the private sector. I assure you that your efforts will be rewarded. Your heroism will not be forgotten.

Saludo kami sa inyo.

Let me thank the LGUs who are doing their best to contain the spread of the virus in your localities. I see that you are employing innovative programs and initiatives to address the needs of your constituents.

‘Yan ang dapat. Tulungan.

Rest assured that the national government is behind you as we safeguard the welfare of our people in your communities.

I issued an order through Executive Secretary Medialdea clearly laying down the responsibilities of each department in implementing the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act. I have given them their marching orders, emphasizing the need for sufficient authority, so that they do not have to go back to me and ask for clearance for each and every action they have to take. All of the details of our actions will be part of my report, which will be submitted to Congress pursuant to Bayanihan Act.

There are now only two powers in the law that I reserved strictly for myself: One is the power to direct the operation of private establishments. The other is the power to require businesses to prioritize contracts for materials and services necessary for the crisis. I will exercise these powers only when absolutely necessary.

RELATED: Duterte's expanded powers under Bayanihan Act defined but possibly indefinite

The government is now taking action and undertaking several key measures to overcome and recover from the effects of this pandemic. These measures have three main priorities: (1) Providing Emergency Assistance to Affected Sectors, (2) Securing Facilities [and] Resources for the Health Sector and (3) Performing Fiscal and Monetary Actions for the Economy.

FIRST: The government is now launching the largest and widest social protection program in our country’s history --- pinakamalaki itong tulong na ibibigay ng gobyerno sa mamamayan sa history natin, eh ngayon lang tayo nagkaroon ng problemang ganito --- to make up for the loss of economic opportunities due to the quarantine measures in place for COVID-19.

We have allotted 200 billion pesos for low-income households who are badly affected by the current crisis. Sila ang nasa informal sector and those who live day-to-day on subsistence wages or “no-work, no-pay” arrangements. Beneficiary-households will receive emergency support for two months based on the regional minimum wage.

READ: DSWD to give cash subsidies to low-income families affected by quarantine

However, I still count on everyone to also look out after their fellowmen --- their countrymen. To those who have more in life, I implore you to share in the cost of taking care of the less fortunate and keeping our society intact. They have also contributed to our prosperity in one way or [another]. So, let us support them in this crisis.

Let it be said that, in the hour of our country’s greatest need, we all looked out for and helped each other.

Buksan natin ang ating puso sa nangangailangan.

I also appeal to the private sector to contribute, in any way you can, in dealing with this national emergency. We implore employers to do their part in protecting the welfare of the millions of Filipino households that belong to the formal sector and depend on their employers for continuous livelihood.

For those who have silently helped, away from the cameras, maraming salamat po.

The government will provide a recovery package—especially to micro, small, and medium enterprises—to help deal with the economic effects of this pandemic. My economic team is already creating the guidelines for this as I speak.

To our farmers and our fisherfolk: We have not forgotten you and government is now employing quick response measures to help you during the crisis as well as ensure food productivity, availability, and sufficiency during the period of the pandemic.

RELATED: Frontliners too: 'Healthy' farmers, fishers exempted from quarantine restrictions

Nandito ang gobyerno para sa inyo.

The government is also ensuring the unhampered flow of cargo and their workers to maintain the continuous and steady supply of food, goods and other essential supplies and items. A price freeze on commodities is already in effect and measures to curtail hoarding and profiteering are also in place.

RELATED: Supermarkets feel the pinch as cargoes remain stuck at checkpoints

Uulitin ko --- hindi ito panahon para kumita. Hindi ito panahon ng pagsasamantala.

Food packs and essential non-food items are also being distributed [to] LGUs in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon. Contaminated areas in the Visayas and Mindanao are receiving similar assistance. More will be given to augment the requirements of LGUs in the coming days as we repackage the items in our stockpiles.

Gagawin ko lahat para walang magutom.

SECOND: We are marshalling and deploying the resources of government to provide our frontline health workers with everything they require so they can save as many lives as possible.

We are now procuring medical supplies, devices and personal protective equipment.

READ: Where are the funds? DOH has P19 billion ready for COVID-19 response

About 1 million medical protective items are being acquired right now, with the government and the private sector working together to purchase or produce the necessary quantities.

We are also ramping up our capacity to test more broadly to take a fuller and more accurate picture of the spread of COVID-19 in the country. We will also build, operate and accredit more medical facilities and laboratories in the coming weeks.

 The outpouring of donations and support from the businesses, organizations, foreign governments and private individuals over the past few weeks have also been overwhelming. I therefore like or would like to acknowledge the following for their help in this crisis:

  • The Government of China
  • The Government of Singapore
  • The NGCP led by Bigboy Sy and Robert Coyuito
  • Ramon Ang
  • Enrique Razon
  • Manny Pangilinan
  • Lucio Tan and Michael Tan
  • Simeon Heo of [Shopee] Philippines
  • Century Peak Corporation
  • [Joji] Gotianun-Yap
  • Udenna Foundation of Dennis Uy
  • Also, Robert Seng
  • Archie Po, ‘yung who suffered a loss --- buhay niya, empleyado niya, pati ‘yung eroplano nag-crash on an evacuation mission to Japan. My condolences to the families and I assure you na tutulong kami sa anumang paraan. Do not be discouraged.
  • PAGCOR headed by Andrea Domingo
  • The World Health Organization
  • Mammoth Foundation China
  • Jack Ma
  • Ciriaco Lopez
  • Global Fund
  • [Americares] Foundation
  • UNFPA
  • Aboitiz Foundation
  • D&L Corporation
  • Golden Topper
  • Landers Superstore
  • Unilab Foundation
  • Alliance Global
  • Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation
  • Temasek Foundation, as well as the countless others who have sent their assistance in our time of need.

On behalf of the Filipino people, I thank you [for your] compassion and your generosity, and my personal gratitude.

RELATED: NGCP donates P1 billion to aid health workers

Mahal kong mga kababayang Pilipino, nasa ikatlong linggo na tayo sa ating crisis na hinaharap. At tayo’y hirap sa pera, sa medical supplies, sa lahat. Eh dati ho naman talagang kulang ang pera natin at kulang ang medical supplies.

At hindi lang ho tayo, pati ‘yung Amerika ganun rin kasi hindi natin akalain buong mundo na ganun kabilis dalawang araw lang, after receiving the advice from China, the crisis was already here: COVID-19.

Ang masasabi ko lang, meron tayong 200 billion na ibinigay sa akin ng Kongreso para gastusin ko. Iyon naman ho ang ginagamit kong pakalat ngayon na pera para mabigyan ang lahat. Galing doon sa walang trabaho, may trabaho, kalahating trabaho. Ang mga mayaman, hindi na kasali.

Ako nama’y umaasa na itong ating mga trabahante na Pilipino ay gawin nila ang lahat para sa kapakanan ng ating bayan. At ang kami dito, gawain ko ang buong kaya kong gawin para ho sa inyo.

Kaya nga hindi ako nakalabas eh ilang araw, dalawang araw. Pero usually in times of crisis ho kailangan ang isang trabahante ng gobyerno na binigyan ho ng trabaho para humarap sa inyo, makipag-usap sa inyo.

Ito ho ang garantiya ko: Ginagawa namin ang lahat ng makakaya namin. May mga doktor na, mga nurses, attendants, namatay. Sila ‘yung nasawi ang buhay para lang makatulong sa kapwa. Napakaswerte nila. Namatay sila para sa bayan. Iyon ang dapat ang rason na bakit tayo mamatay.

Huwag tayong mamatay sa ibang rason, nasagasaan ka lang at wala ka namang ginawa. It would be an honor to die for your country, I assure you.

RELATED: Champion of child health, pillar of Infectious Disease medicine in Philippines dies of COVID-19'Former barrio doctor, always a frontliner': Dr. Jaochico passes away due to COVID-19

At ako naman ho, ang pilosopiya ko ho ganito, sa nagtatrabaho, kung protected ka lang, eh make yourself fully covered, protected para hindi --- walang madisgrasya. Pero ang doktrina ko sa buhay is ako, si Rodrigo Duterte, kung panahon ko na, panahon ko na.

So ganon na lang ang pagtingin ko kasi wala man rin akong magawa. Pumupunta ako doon sa mga lugar na may giyera, pumupunta ako doon sa may lugar na may pumuputok ‘yung bomba, pumu --- pumupunta ako doon sa likod ng mga sundalo at nagrarakrakan sila ng…

Eh hindi ko masabi kung kailan ako, kaya sabi ko na lang, “Diyos ko, ‘pag panahon ko na, kunin mo na ako. Huwag kang mag-atubili. Bahala ka na.”

So sa mga kababayan ko, hindi ko naman sinasabi na sundin ninyo ang aking pilosopiya. But somehow let the thought comfort you that I really worry about you, that I worry that you will not be able to reach an old age with your children and grandchildren.

Kasi ako nandiyan na eh. Patapos na ako, kaya ko masabi ‘yan. So trabaho lang tayo, ang mga supplies nandiyan na, at makabili na tayo ng kailangan ninyo.

Ngayon, sa mga tao na binigyan ng --- people tasked of distributing the money, distributing the food, distributing the relief goods, kindly do it. I use the word “to a T”. Kung hindi ninyo naintindihan ‘yan, mag-research kayo.

Pero talagang ‘pag nagkamali kayo dito, hindi ko kayo palusutin. I will see to it even tomorrow, if I discover some embezzlements, some hoarding there, at dina-divert ‘yung pagkain sa mga tao na dapat hindi sa kanila, you better think.

I am not a cruel man. Pero kung may report ang pulis, I will order your detention hanggang matapos itong COVID-19.

Sabi ko huwag ngayon. Huwag na huwag kayong mandaya, mangurakot at taguin ‘yung mga pagkain at ‘yung iba hindi bigyan kasi… You know, people sometimes think that they own whatever they receive from government. This is not yours, neither is it mine.

Pero kung mamulitika ka tapos mabalitaan ko na ‘yan ang nagawa mo, I will suspend you ora mismo. And for those who are really absconding the money, I will detain you, I said; and maybe I will release you pagkatapos ng COVID.

Hindi ako nananakot. Nagpapasalamat ako sa buong --- lahat ng ating mga doktor, who are honest, who --- talagang nagta-trabaho. Sa inyo po, personal kong gratitude na hindi mabayaran ng pera. Nagpapasalamat rin ang taong bayang Pilipino. Salamat po at ako’y regularly mag --- makipagusap sa inyo until this crisis is over. Huwag kayong matakot ngayon.

Huwag na huwag kayong matakot kasi sabi ko may pera ako at kung meron man ang palpak-palpak diyan kaunti, ayusin namin ‘yan. Ayusin ni Lorenzana ‘yan, the implementor, pati ni Año sa DILG, at itong si Galvez ho. Puro military na ‘yan sila.

RELATED: State agencies gain early access to Q2 funds

At as a matter of fact ganito, lahat ng kontribusyon, lahat, ibigay mo doon sa opisina na set up ng Task Force. At may --- kung may releases man, lahat, accounted ‘yan tapos then there’s another audit in the integrity of the procedure.

‘Yan lang po. Nagpapasalamat ako sa lahat ng trabahante ng gobyernong nandiyan. At ako naman po’y at the same time nagbibigay ng warning: Totohanan ko talaga kayo.

Sa crisis tapos gawin mo pa ‘yang… Dapat ka talagang ikulong. Hindi kita irelease at huwag kang… Hindi ako maniwala ng kaso-kaso. Hayaan mo magpapa-preso ako balang araw kung mali ang sinabi ko at ginawa ko.

Sa inyong mga Pilipino, mga kababayan --- kababayan, mahal ko, kamong mga Bisaya, sunod lang mo. Sumunod lang kayo at walang problema.

Daghang salamat.

COVID-19 NOVEL CORONAVIRUS RODRIGO DUTERTE
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