Duterte: We are running low on supplies
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday night bared that government resources are now dwindling, four weeks into the imposition of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine imposed to stop the spread of COVID-19.
In his second public address this week, Duterte admitted that “we are running low in supplies” even as the government has already set aside some P275 billion for effects of the pandemic.
“Sabi ko nga we cannot feed you forever, hanggang kamatayan. Hindi ka naman mapagamot kaagad-agad ilan lang ang ospital,” Duterte said.
(I have said we cannot feed you forever, until death. We cannot treat you right away, we only have a few hospitals.)
But according to him, the government is getting the needed help from the private sector that offers facilities to be converted into makeshift healthcare sites.
The President then appealed to the public to endure the quarantine for a bit longer as the Luzon lockdown nears its end on April 30.
“Konting tiis na lang talaga,” he said.
Duterte placed the entire Luzon under a month-long enhanced community quarantine to curtail the further spread of COVID-19. The quarantine was extended until April 30.
The order stopped public transportation, banned mass gatherings and strictly enforced home quarantine as work for the majority of the region’s residents was suspended. People are only allowed to go out for provision of food and other basic necessities and in cases of emergency.
The Philippines earlier applied for a $500-million loan to the World Bank to augment its war chest against COVID-19. But Duterte hinted that the amount cannot suffice the country’s need to completely survive the health crisis.
“Part of that really is to control COVID. Hindi mo pwede gamitin sa infrastructure [You cannot use it for infrastructure]. It is intended just for human being,” he said.
The government has set aside about P200 billion for two-month cash subsidies for 18 million low-income households to help tide them over while the Luzon lockdown keeps them away from their jobs.
Other forms of cash aid have also been extended to displaced laborers, overseas workers, and small businesses.
Edited by JPV
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