Duterte appeals to public to skip holiday festivities to avoid COVID-19 spread
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is appealing to the public to skip parties this Christmas as the threat of COVID-19 was still present.
Duterte apologized that Filipinos would have to spend the holiday season with restrictions.
“As early as now, we saying sorry that there will be a curtailment of so many things you are used to during Christmas time,” Duterte said, speaking partly in Filipino, in a pre-recorded speech on Monday.
“[Of] all of the Christmases of your lifetime, it’s on this one time that the government is asking [this] — for you. It’s for you, not for the government,“ he added.
“This is one Christmas, the only Christmas maybe, that the government will interfere in your private affairs,” he went on. “Would you be kind enough just to skip the festivities Just avoid it for the time being. You avoid it because it’s for your own good and the good of your community, and eventually, the good of the country.”
Earlier, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III advised the public to avoid complacency this holiday season, asking people to limit celebrations to immediate family members, attend online mass services, and defer plans to return to their provinces.
Duque warned that gatherings during the holidays could result in an increase in COVID-19 cases.
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