On the Cabinet members’ pledge for COVID-19 and the talk about extending the lockdown for another two weeks

The Palace confirms that many of the members of the President’s cabinet have pledged to cut 75% of their monthly salaries from the month of April to December of this year. Others have volunteered a salary deduction for the whole duration of the state of public health emergency in solidarity with our countrymen and to help in the government efforts to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

Other officials with the rank of secretaries are similarly giving portions of their respective salaries to boost the collective fight against the dreadful disease.

The President is likewise donating his one month salary for the cause.

Assistant Secretaries of the Offices of the Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and Presidential Spokesperson have likewise committed to donate at least 10% of their income directly to the Office of Civil Defense this month, and will continue providing financial and relief assistance from their salaries to groups who are at the frontline of this health crisis in the succeeding months.

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.

There is an emerging consensus coming from medical experts, businessmen, government officials and other well meaning individuals that an extension of two weeks for the enhanced community quarantine or lockdown is necessary as lifting it could be premature as it might wipe out the gains we have so far achieved in containing the virus.

The President is all ears and eyes on this unfolding reality and expert opinions. He is evaluating the best option to take that will effectively insure the success of our war against this wily and faceless global enemy. He will make his decision in due time.

In the meantime, we call on our countrymen to be steadfast in our commitment to take care of each other in this imminent threat to our nation’s survival.

With God’s grace, and our Bayanihan spirit, we will triumph!

Salvador S. Panelo
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel
& Presidential Spokesperson