Duterte, Cabinet members pledge salaries for COVID-19 response
Marje Pelayo • April 6, 2020 • 587
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte announced he is giving his one month salary amounting to P400,000 to help in the implementation of the national government’s action plan in fight against coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Meanwhile, other members of the President’s Cabinet also have agreed to give 75% of their monthly salaries from April to December of this year as support, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
Panelo added that other department secretaries also agreed to share by giving a portion of their respective salaries.
Meanwhile, members of the House of Representatives are targeting to raise P100-M to boost financial aid to those affected by the pandemic.
About 200 congressmen have pledged to donate their full salary for the month of May to help the government’s efforts against COVID-19.
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said they are raising an initial P50-M from the lawmakers while they plan to source out the other 50-M from other private individuals and groups to complete the P100-M pledge.
Cayetano said they are set to discuss on Wednesday as to which particular government effort they would donate the fund.
“Ayaw naman namin na halimbawa bumili ng PPEs iyon pala may P5-B or P2-B worth of PPEs o kaya bumili ng pagkain iyon pala may provisions na sa pagkain,” Cayetano said.
“We want to use the money where it will be most effective,” he added.
Malacanang, meanwhile, is pleased with the support from other branches of government.
“The Office of the President is pleased to know that the two other branches of the government have their own program of helping the battle against COVID-19 even as we acknowledge the support given by various heads of offices and agencies in their personal capacities to thwart the COVID-19 pandemic,” Panelo said. MNP (with inputs from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte reminds the public to heed government protocols for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis even after community quarantine has been relaxed.
On May 16, Metro Manila shifted to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from enhanced community quarantine to help revive the Philippines’ crippled economy.
But President Duterte stressed that such relaxation in restrictions doesn’t mean the country is free of COVID-19 and warned that the government might again tighten restrictions if situations get worse.
“Remember this, the loosening of the restrictions does not mean [we’re COVID-free],” he said.
“If the contamination will be as fast as before, and it will continue to infect yung nakalabas na (people who are allowed to go out), then we’ll have to just go back to original program,” he added.
Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque denied allegations that the government is not ready or has no policy for the conduct of COVID-19 mass testing.
Roque stressed that the government in fact is now preparing to hit the target of 30,000 a day testing capacity by the end of May.
“From the very beginning, we have had a systematic targeted testing at sa tingin po natin ang sinusunod natin ay benchmark recognized internationally specifically by the WHO,” the Palace Spokesperson said in defense against against critics who are questioning the government’s advice of letting private companies shoulder COVID-19 testing for their respective workers who are returning to work.
Roque added that the government is targeting to test around 1.5% to 2% of the more than 100 million Filipinos for COVID-19 infection and clarified on what is referred to as ‘mass testing.’
“Ang tawag po dapat ay expanded targeted testing,” he said.
MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte travelled to Davao City on Friday (May 15) to visit his family.
The President opted to stay in Metro Manila in the past two months to focus on his work amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak and due to tight restrictions under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Aside from family visit, the President intended to check on the situation in Mindanao relative to the health crisis.
“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is now in Davao City to visit his family whom he has not seen in months and to assess the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation in Mindanao,” Roque said.
The Palace spokesman assured, however, that the President will be present in the scheduled meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19 on Tuesday (May 19).
“Rest assured that he will be back in Malacañang in time for the next IATF briefing,’ Roque concluded. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)
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