Duterte to borrow funds for COVID-19 vaccine; promises to provide free face masks too
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to source out funds, borrow or sell state properties if necessary, to provide Filipinos with COVID-19 vaccines once available.
“If there is a thing that develops, which is very good, mauna ako. Mangutang ako. Magpabili ako kung san may nagbili ng lupa, para ibili ko ng medicine,” Duterte said in a taped speech aired Tuesday morning.
(We will be first. I will borrow. I will sell to those who want to buy lands so we can purchase medicine.)
The President then urged the public to follow health protocols such as physical distancing and wearing of face masks to curtail the spread of the respiratory disease, which has already infected nearly 69,000 people nationwide.
“Social distancing, huwag kayong magsigaw-sigawan, magdikit dikit. (Face) Masks….ito importante ito talaga. Ngayong kung wala kayo I will try to buy as many as I can afford. Kung kaya ko. Ibigay namin ‘yan sa inyo libre but wear it,” Duterte said.
(Do not shout at each other or group yourselves. Face masks are really important. Now if you do not have one, I will try to buy as many as I can afford. If I can, we will give it to you for free but please wear it.)
To date, there are 68,898 COVID-19 cases nationwide, including 23,072 recoveries and 1,835 deaths.
COVID-19 cases in the Philippines continue to surge on a daily basis which health authorities attributed largely to the country’s improved testing capacity and the increased contact among the population as a result of the relaxation of quarantine measures to reopen the pandemic-battered economy.
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