The Philippines, under President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, had one of the best performing economies prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was the Palace assessment of the past four years of PRRD’s presidency, which Secretary Roque articulated in his July 2 press briefing.
“We averaged 6.5 percent growth annually in the past four years. Inflation is under control. Interest rates were low. We had the record credit rating,” said Secretary Roque, adding that this is a testament to the fact that many creditors agree to our country’s economic policies.
The Palace official further stressed: “As far as approval of the President is concerned, hindi po bumababa yan sa 80 percent, so approve po ang taumbayan sa mga ginagawa ng Presidente kasama na rin po dyan yung kampanya laban sa pinagbabawal na droga,” said Secretary Roque.
The Palace spokesman also underscored the fact that even with the COVID-19 pandemic, an overwhelming majority of the Filipino people supports the President in his decisions and actions in response to the COVID-19 situation. This, he said, includes the fact that had President Duterte not declared a national health emergency and imposed an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) early on, there would be as much as three million COVID-19 cases in the country already as predicted by a study by the University of the Philippines.
“So it’s been a great four years. Mayroon po tayong pagsubok pero dahil mayroon po tayong very sound fundamentals makakaahon din po tayo dito sa pagsubok ng COVID-19,” Sec. Roque said.
Meanwhile, on the incident in Sulu, Secretary Roque said that the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is now currently investigating the matter, as the President himself said that he has a personal interest on the incident and would like to know what really happened.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, who was a resource person in the said media briefing, said that the suspected police officers are already in detention and that the Chief of the Jolo Police Station was already relieved of his post.
Secretary Año assured the public that justice will be assured and that those accountable will answer to the crime. He added that that the due process of the law will be followed and that appropriate charges will be filed after the NBI investigation.
Sec. Año added that to ensure that the relationship between the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is not affected, President Duterte will talk with the commanders of the AFP and PNP in the area.
Also in the same media briefing, Chief Implementer of the National Task Force against COVID-19 Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr provided an overview on the situation in Cebu City following his visit in the area together with other government officials. Secretary Galvez said that in their assessment, one of the reasons for the spike in COVID-19 cases in Cebu City is the mishandling or incorrect implementation of home quarantine of some 1,900 COVID-19 positive cases.
Galvez also pointed out that contact tracing is weak at only 30 percent, there are only seven Level 3 hospitals in the City that can handle COVID-19 cases, and that social distancing and the minimum health standards cannot be enacted properly, especially in densely populated areas.
Sec.Galvez also appealed to the Cebuanos to follow the ECQ protocols and minimum public health standards, saying that obedience to recommended protocols and guidelines will greatly affect the containment of the spread and transmission of the virus.
Sec Galvez said that this fight is not just for the healthcare workers and for the government but for the people, and that the public’s participation is very important in the fight against COVID-19. ### OPS-PCOO