Luzon, which accounts for about three-fourths of the country’s economy, has been placed under enhanced community quarantine from March 17 to April 14 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
PPD/Ace Morandante, File
Duterte thanks biggest donors in fight to stop COVID spread
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - April 1, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte on Monday night expressed gratitude to governments, businesses and groups that have assisted in the efforts to combat the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and called on employers to help workers affected by the Luzon-wide quarantine. 

Luzon, which accounts for about three-fourths of the country’s economy, has been placed under enhanced community quarantine from March 17 to April 14 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The quarantine measures forced more than 57 million residents to stay home, including daily wage earners and informal sector workers who now rely on government doleouts for their basic needs.

The spike in the number of COVID-19 cases has also depleted hospitals’ medical supplies, including personal protective equipment for health workers, prompting some groups to call for donations. 

“The outpouring of donations and support from the businesses, organizations, foreign governments and private individuals in the past few weeks has been overwhelming,” Duterte said in a televised public address.

The President acknowledged the help of the governments of China and Singapore, business leaders Manny V. Pangilinan, Ramon Ang, Enrique Razon, Lucio Tan and Michael Tan, Chinese business magnate Jack Ma, Simeon Heo of Shopee Philippines, Joji Gotianun-Yap, Robert Seng, Archie Po, National Grid Corp. of the Philippines, Century Peak Corp. and Udenna Foundation of Dennis Uy. 

Duterte also thanked the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., World Health Organization, Mammoth Foundation China, Ciriaco Lopez, Global Fund, Americares Foundation, United Nations Population Fund, Aboitiz Foundation, D&L Corp., Golden Topper, Landers Superstore, Unilab Foundation, Alliance Global, Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation and Temasek Foundation.

“On behalf of the Filipino people, I thank you (for your) compassion and your generosity,” Duterte said. 

He expressed hope that the private sector would continue to share their resources to vulnerable sectors. 

“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,” Duterte said. “Let it be said that, in the hour of our country’s greatest need, we all looked out for and helped each other. Let us open our hearts to the needy.”

The President also urged the private sector to contribute, in any way they can, in dealing with the national health 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, thank you very much,” he said. 

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