Press Briefing

Press Briefing of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque


SEC. ROQUE: Magandang tanghali, Pilipinas. Narito po tayong muli sa Davao City, sa Pearl Farm Marina, dahil mamaya po ay magkakaroon ng regular Talk to the People ang ating Presidente.

Unahin na po natin ang ating mga balita ‘no. Naku po, isa na naman pong fake news ang pinakalat ng mga walang magawang maganda sa buhay. Obvious na walang katotohanan ang balita na ang Metro Manila ay mapapasailalim sa Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine o MECQ sa gabi ng disinuebe ng Disyembre hanggang sa katapusan ng Disyembre. A-bente uno na po ngayon, GCQ pa rin po ang buong Kamaynilaan.

Fake news din na magkaka-lockdown daw po mula December 23 hanggang January 3, 2021. Ito po iyong mga walang hiya na gusto lang sirain ang ating Pasko.

Ang Presidente po ay nagbibigay ng kaniyang community quarantine decision para sa buwan ng Disyembre base sa rekumendasyon ng IATF. Buwanan na po ngayon ang classification. Ang susunod na desisyon ay para sa Enero ng susunod na taon pa at malalaman po natin kung ano iyang classification na iyan sa huling linggo po ng Disyembre.

So habang nagbabakasyon ang lahat, tayo po ay magmi-meeting sa IATF at tayo po ay magpapatuloy din po ng ating press briefing para malaman ng taumbayan kung ano ang magiging quarantine classification ng Enero.

Now, huwag natin sanang sirain ng iilan ang ating Pasko at ang ating pagsalubong ng Bagong Taon ng mga pekeng balita. Mga walang magawang mabuti, puwede ba ho ay manahimik na kayo dahil Pasko naman, please lang.

Sa mga naalarma sa inaasahang pagtaas ng mga kaso ng COVID-19 ngayong Kapaskuhan, ito po ang latest figures: Hindi pa naman po tumataas kaya lang kinakailangang paalalahanan kayo na kinakailangang mag-mask, iwas at hugas dahil kung hindi, baka nga po tumaas. Pero sa ngayon ay hindi pa po tumataas; huwag na po natin pataasin, iyan ang pakiusap ng ating Presidente.

Ano ba ho ang ating mga COVID updates ngayon? Mayroon po tayong 21,708 active cases as of December 20 sang-ayon po iyan sa DOH. Sa mga aktibong mga kaso, 90% ay mild at asymptomatic, 6.4% ay kritikal, at 3.2% ang severe.

Ito naman po ang mga bilang ng mga gumagaling ‘no: Magkakalahating milyon na or 429,134 ang gumaling or 93.3 ang ating recovery rate. Bagama’t nasa 1.95 ang ating case fatality rate, malungkot pa rin po ito ‘no, nakikiramay po kami sa mga pamilya at mga mahal sa bahay ng 8,947 na binawian ng buhay dahil po sa COVID-19.

Dito naman makikita sa graphics ang confirmed COVID-19 cases by adjusted date of onset ayon sa DOH. Makikita ninyo po sa infographics natin ‘no na patuloy pa rin pong bumababa naman po ang mga kaso ng COVID. Ang ayaw lang po nating mangyari dahil nga po nagsisiksikan sa Divisoria at iba pang mga pamilihan ay baka nga po tumaas. Sana po lahat tayo ay Happy New Year. At kapag tumaas nga iyon, naku, siguradong baka magkasakit kayo dito sa pagpasok ng bagong taon.

Tingnan naman po natin ang ating hospital care capacity ‘no. Puno ba ho ito? Well, sang-ayon po sa DOH, 60% available pa po ang ating ICU beds, so hindi po siya kritikal; 65% available ang isolation beds; 75% available ang ward beds; 82% available ang ventilators. Ibig sabihin po, hindi po puno ang mga hospital pero huwag naman po nating punuin.

Paulit-ulit po ang Presidente para sa inyo naman itong kapakanan: Kinakailangang mag-mask, iwas, hugas.

Ano naman po ang latest sa Bagyong Vicky? At 2 P.M., December 20, umalis na sa Philippine Area of Responsibility ang Bagyong Vicky. Malungkot po naming binabalita na mayroon tayong walong namatay, dalawa ang nasaktan at isa ang nawawala ayon sa NDRRMC as of December 21, 2020, 8 A.M. situational report.

Ayon sa December 20, 2020 situational report ng Department of Social Work and Development (DSWD), mayroong 8,637 na mga pamilyang naapektuhan ni Vicky sa 140 barangays around CARAGA. Patuloy ang ginagawang assessments sa mga apektadong pamilya sa Carrascal, Cantilan, Madrid, Lanuza, Surigao del Sur. May mahigit na 779 million na prepositioned stockpiles at standby funds and DSWD as of December 19, kasama na rito ang 229,471 family food packs.

Samantala, ang DOH Region XIII ay nag-preposition ng karagdagang gamot at medical supplies sa lahat ng probinsiya sa rehiyon na umabot sa mahigit 214,000 pesos. Nagbigay rin ng karagdagang mahigit 28,000 augmentation para sa mga gamot para sa Butuan City.

Patuloy naman po ang ginagawang clearing operations ng ating DPWH ‘no. Balik normal na ang ating shipping and fishing companies sa lahat ng mga pantalan sa buong Pilipinas mula kahapon pa, a-bente ng Disyembre, ayon po sa DOTr.

Well, ngayon po ay 21 December at mayroon po tayong nais na bigkasin na paninindigan tungkol po sa karapatang pantao. Ang Pilipinas po ay committed sa karapatang pantao at doon sa tinatawag na rule of law ‘no. Ang Presidente po mismo noong siya ay nagtalumpati sa UN General Assembly ang nagsabi na ang bansa natin ay bukas sa dayalogo at constructive engagement with the UN padating po sa karapatang pantao.

Kailan lang po, ang administrasyon ay nakapag-cooperate at sumagot po sa mga findings ng Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights doon po sa kaniyang report ‘no na isinumite sa UN Human Rights Council by forming an inter-agency panel led by the DOJ which is tasked to conduct and review the 5,655 anti-illegal drugs operations were deaths occur. Iisa-isahin po nating iimbestigahan iyan.

The efforts made by the administration to investigate ay nagpapatunay po na determinado tayo na ipatupad ang ating mga obligasyon bilang isang bansa sa larangan po ng international human rights law.

Ang gobyerno po natin ay patuloy na sisiguraduhin na ang mga karapatan ng mga mamamayan na ginagarantiyahan ng ating Saligang Batas ay mapapatupad at rirespetuhin ng estado.

Bagama’t nasabi na po natin ito, eh obligasyon din po ng gobyerno na ipatupad ang mga batas natin at iyong mga polisiya laban po sa mga pinagbabawal na gamot at mga hakbang para po malimita iyong mga banta sa public order, public safety at seguridad at saka public health.

Sa gitna po ng nagaganap na pandemya, responsibilidad po ng gobyerno na siguraduhin na ang mga mamamayan ay hindi po mai-expose sa virus at mababawasan po iyong mga fake news at misinformation nga po ‘no na sinasabi nila na kabahagi ng kalayaan ng malayang pananalita. Kinakailangan po talaga ay kontrolin din iyong mga bagay-bagay na nagbibigay ng kalituhan sa ating mga mamamayan.

Pagdating naman po sa iba pang mga sinasabing diumano mga paglabag sa karapatang pantao, well, sinisiguro po natin na mayroon po tayong mga mekanismo sa ating batas dito sa Pilipinas kung saan pupuwedeng pumunta po ang mga sinasabing biktima ng human rights violations.

Well, ang sabi nga po ng UN mismo, iyong Office of the High Commission on Human Rights, and I quote, “Legal constitutional and institutional frameworks in the Philippines contain human rights safeguards, as well as checks and balances.” Nanggaling na po iyan sa Office of the High Commission on Human Rights na sapat po ang mekanismo natin sa Pilipinas para mapatupad ang karapatang pantao.

The government maintains that the rule of law is sacrosanct in the Philippines. Any offense committed by law enforcement or otherwise will be dealt with in accordance with due process. Our courts stand ready to receive and rule on any complaints and their autonomy has always been respected by the Duterte administration.

Good news naman po ‘no: Pinirmahan po ni Presidente Duterte noong disiotso ng Disyembre ang Administrative Order #37 na nagbibigay ng service recognition incentives sa mga empleyado ng gobyerno sa taong 2020. Makikita ninyo sa mga sumusunod na slides ang mga kundisyon sa pagbibigay ng service recognition incentives. Basahin po natin ito—

Well, bago po tayo magpatuloy sa ating open forum, mayroon po tayong bisita ‘no. Ito po ay walang iba kung hindi ang Country Director ng Asian Development Bank, si Mr. Kelly Bird.

Mr. Bird, thank you for joining us. We have heard, time and again, that the Philippines will borrow from multilateral sources such as the Asian Development Bank funds necessary so that we can buy vaccines against the COVID-19.

Sir, can you explain to us the mechanism by which this will happen? The floor is yours, Mr. Bird.

MR. KELLY BIRD: My understand [unclear] presentation [unclear]

SEC. ROQUE: Okay. Mr. Bird, we will call you again because the line appears to be garbled. Meanwhile po, pumunta tayo sa ating open forum—or we will call you again, sir. Sir, we’re calling you again because the line appears to be garbled, Mr. Bird, okay. We’ll call you back.

Okay. Siguro habang kinu-contact natin si Mr. Bird, mga paunang tanong. Usec. Rocky?

USEC. IGNACIO: Yes. Secretary, may tanong po mula kay Leila [garbled] mother and son during an argument in Tarlac. What is Malacañang going to [garbled] about this latest incident of police brutality [garbled] where the President [garbled] the policeman?

SEC. ROQUE: Kinukondena po natin iyang nangyari diyan sa Tarlac ‘no. At lilinawin ko lang po – hindi po ito service-related na double murder ‘no. Ito po’y kung hindi tayo nagkakamali ay isang away daw ‘no tungkol sa pagposisyon sa lupa.

So ang pulis pong iyan ay hindi po pupuwedeng mag-invoke ng kahit anong depensa na may kinalaman sa kaniyang katungkulan ang pagpatay na iyan at ito po’y tatratuhin na ordinaryong murder cases ‘no at iimbestigahan, kakasuhan, lilitisin at papaparusahan po natin iyang pulis na iyan. No ifs, no buts. Magkakaroon po ng katarungan dahil nakita naman po natin ang ebidensiya noong pangyayari. Hindi po iyan puprotektahan ng Presidente, kinukondena po natin iyan.

USEC. IGNACIO: [Off mic] po niya: How does the Palace respond to concerns that [garbled]…

SEC. ROQUE: Basahin ko na lang iyong mga tanong kaya? Ako na lang magbasa. Okay. Ako na po magbabasa ng mga tanong ‘no kasi nagkakaroon po tayo ng feedback ‘no. Puwede na kaya si Mr. Bird? Mr. Bird, puwede na kaya kayo uli?

Okay. Ang next question po ay galing po kay Kris Jose: Viral po ngayon sa social media ang video ng pamamaril ng isang pulis sa mag-ina sa Paniqui, Tarlac although personal po ito—

Nasagot ko na po ito ‘no. Kinukondena po iyan, lilitisin, kakasuhan at paparusahan po kung napatunayan na gumawa po ng double murder iyang pulis na iyan.

Ang second question po ni Kris Jose: May panawagan po ba kayo sa mga pulis na bagama’t bawal po magpaputok ngayong bagong taon ay posible po na may magtangka na magpaputok para po salubungin ang Bagong Taon gamit ang kanilang baril?

Eh kung pinagbabawal nga po ang karamihan ng mga paputok eh bakit naman gagamitin ang baril? Ang bala ng gobyerno po para pagpapatupad lamang ng batas, hindi po iyan para sa Bagong Taon at ‘pag kayo’y nagpaputok pataas, bababa at bababa po ang bala niyan – ‘pag may tinamaan po iyan, mayroon kayong kriminal na pananagutan. So itigil ninyo na po iyan, itago ninyo na po ang baril at puwede naman pong magdiwang ng Bagong Taon sa ibang mga pamamaraan.

Okay. We will attempt now Mr. Bird. Okay, Mr. Bird is on the line. Go ahead, Mr. Bird.

MR. BIRD: Thank you very much. Is it clear now?

SEC. ROQUE: Okay. We can see you but I hope you can be broadcasted on PTV-4. Go ahead Mr. Bird. Thank you for joining us.

MR. BIRD: Okay, thank you very much. Let me talk about the Asian Development Bank lending support for [unclear] of the country in procuring COVID-19 vaccines. So on 11thof December, the ADB board of directors approved and launched the Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility, we call it APVAX. This APVAX is a 9-billion dollar facility open to all of ADB’s developing member countries and the idea of this facility is to provide rapid and equitable support [unclear] to procure and deliver effective and safe COVID-19 vaccines to their citizens.

The APVAX Facility, the 9-billion dollar facility has 2 components. First component is called the Rapid Response Component, an [unclear] financing for vaccine procurement and thus cover logistics costs. It can also be for financing for diagnostic and analytical work to prepare for the vaccinations, procurement of vaccines, and the logistics that are related to bringing those vaccines from the place of purchase to the DMC.

Component 2 is what we call Project Investment Component and that’s for financing really the infrastructure for vaccine delivery and distribution, you know such as cold storage facilities.

Bringing interest of everybody is how developing member countries access financing under APVAX and for which vaccines. So under this facility, there is Access Criteria and a Vaccine Eligibility Criteria.

So for the Access Criteria, the country needs to show that they have been [unclear] by the COVID-19, of course Philippines can do that. They also need to complete a Needs Assessment demonstrating [unclear].

Secondly they need to produce a National Vaccination Allocation Plan. This is the plan that would show [unclear] the vaccine [unclear] and particularly for the ADB want it for that [garbled] vaccine that can be procured under this facility. ADB has developed [unclear] but [unclear]. So when you’re looking at which vaccine a country can procure this facility.

We have 3 alternative criterias. So first of all, any vaccine that has been selected for procurement via COVAX on behalf of [unclear] and for those who are not aware of COVAX, COVAX is an international forum comprising of government, vaccine producers, research institutions that are gathered together to ensure that countries can access vaccine globally [unclear] and the Philippines is part of COVAX – this is the first criteria.

The second criteria is that the vaccine manufacturer prequalified by WHO [unclear] Stringent Regulatory Authority which we called SRA for manufacturer in an SRA country or authorized its manufacture in a non-SRA country. So for example, Pfizer has been—has had Emergency Use Approval in the UK and the US. So clearly, Pfizer would qualify under that third criteria. So as long as the vaccine meets one of those 3 criteria it’s therefore eligible under this ADB Vaccine Financing Facility.

So, they have two criteria that needs to be verified by developing countries. So it needs to have a needs assessment; it needs to have a national vaccination allocation plan and the vaccine should qualify under one of those three criteria.

I turn to the next slide: Under the APVAX facility, these are resources that are provided to developing member-countries and its additional resources for each country over and above a normal lending program. So last week, ADB had just approved its lending pipeline to the Philippines for 2021 to 2023, and that encompasses a pipeline of approximately 9.4 billion dollars in lending. Any financing for vaccine would be over and above that amount.

Under the APVAX facility, there is a ceiling loan amount to each country based from population size. There are two interesting features of the facility: It will allow advance financing up to 50% of the loan amount. It will also allow for what we call retroactive financing about 30% of the vetted response component. That means, if the government incurs expenses, the loan can be now so covered those prior expenses by the government.

Now, in terms of advance financing and retroactive financing, the total of both of them combined should not exceed 60% of the loan amount. And of course, the facility comes with where ADB’s concessional lending terms.

Now, if I turn to the Philippines – and this is my last slide – the Philippines can access between 400 and 500 million dollars lending for vaccine procurement. At the moment, the government has requested approximately 325 million dollars from the first component of the facility – that’s the vetted response component. And that’s dedicated for financing the procurement of vaccines.

ADB is working very closely and intensely with the government even over the Christmas and New Year period to carry out for technical background work and preparing the vaccine project.

I would like to sort of highlight also some other features. It’s important that the COVID-19 vaccines to be financed and procured, would be those that meet ADB’s eligibility criteria. The procurement would follow ADB’s procurement processes. And under this new facility, these are also made more flexible and fast-tracked.

We are in close discussions with the Department of Finance and the Department of Health, and we aim to bring the Philippine long proposal to our board of directors for formal consideration very, very quickly. And we want to have these resources available to the Philippines so that they can immediately procure those vaccines. We will also provide technical assistance to the government to provide capacity support, monitoring supply needs and other request on a demand basis.

That’s the main features of the APVAX facility and how we are working closely with the Philippines to develop that vaccine project for quick approval and disbursement.

Thank you very much.

SEC. ROQUE: Thank you very much, Director Bird. I have a question here for you, sir, from Evelyn Quiroz of Pilipino Mirror: The ADB and the Philippine government are currently in talks to tap the [unclear] member can borrow between 400 to 500 million for their COVID vaccine procurement and rollout next year. Will that be over and above the ADB’s 2021 lending pipeline? That’s the question.

MR.  KELLY BIRD: Okay, yes, it is over and above the lending pipeline. This is a new facility and it will not impact on the lending pipeline for the Philippines for 2021 to 2023. And as I’ve mentioned, we approved our new lending pipeline last week, and that provides for funding on infrastructure, health projects, employment projects up to about 9.4 billion dollars over that period. But this vaccine financing is over and above the lending pipeline.

SEC. ROQUE: Thank you, Director Bird. Okay, Usec. Rocky, for the next questions.

USEC. IGNACIO: Yes, Secretary, ulitin ko lang po iyong tanong ni Leila Salaverria kanina kasi hindi po natin naitanong kasi nag-aano nga po iyong audio natin. Ito po iyong second question po niya: How does the Palace response to concern that the police in the country had been emboldened to resort to reckless and unnecessary use of force because of the President’s support for them?

SEC. ROQUE: Alam ninyo po, lahat ng iba pang institusyon sa ating bayan at sa buong mundo, mayroong iilang mga bugok po sa ating lipunan. Pero [unclear] talaga naman pong kahanga-hanga po ang ating mga kapulisan, ang kanilang kapital po sa kanilang hanapbuhay ay ang kanilang mga buhay. Pero paulit-ulit naman po ang sinasabi ng Presidente na ang paggamit ng dahas ay para lamang sa mga pagkakataon na mayroong banta sa buhay ng pulis o ng isang kasundaluhan. So hindi po kinukunsinti ng Presidente ang mga gawaing mali, at ito pong insidente sa Tarlac ay isang criminal act. Double murder po iyan na iimbestigahan at

USEC. IGNACIO: Secretary? Opo, nawala po iyong audio ninyo. In case, naririnig ninyo po ako, ang second question po ni Darryl Esguerra ng Inquirer.net: What will be the entry guidelines for Filipinos already vaccinated abroad against COVID-19? Are they still required to undergo testing and isolation?

SEC. ROQUE: Pag-aaralan pa po iyan ng IATF. So pag-aaralan at pag-uusapan at magkakaroon po tayo ng guidelines.

USEC. IGNACIO: Opo. Question naman po mula kay Virgil Lopez: Several countries have begun banning flights and travellers from the United Kingdom due to a more infectious COVID-19 strain. Is the Philippines taking any measures to prevent the strain from reaching the country? Secretary?

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SEC. ROQUE:    Naku! Nakabalik na po tayo sa ere ngayon. Pasensya na po kayo. Balik po tayo kay Usec. Rocky para sa susunod na tanong.

USEC. IGNACIO:   Opo. Secretary, hindi ko na po kasi narinig kung nasagot na ninyo iyong tanong ni Virgil Lopez doon sa sabi niya several countries have begun banning flights and travelers from the United Kingdom due to a more infectious COVID-19 strain. Is the Philippines taking any measures to prevent the strain from reaching the country?

SEC. ROQUE:    Pag-uusapan pa po iyan a IATF pero sa ngayon po, in place pa naman iyong ating mga protocols para sa lahat ng pumapasok ng Pilipinas kasama po iyan iyong mandatory quarantine habang hinihintay po ang resulta ng kanilang PCR tests.

USEC. IGNACIO:   Opo. Ang second question po ni Virgil Lopez po: Senator Pacquiao has asked President Duterte to replace Department of Health Secretary Duque after the country missed the chance to secure Pfizer vaccine as early as January. Any reaction daw po?

SEC. ROQUE:    Well, all members of the Cabinet serve at the pleasure of the President po. Sa ngayon po, patuloy pa rin ang pagtitiwala ni Presidente kay Secretary Duque. Ang sabi lang niya eh sagutin ang mga paratang po ni Secretary Locsin.

USEC. IGNACIO:   Opo. Question from Miguel Aguana ng GMA News. Iyong first question niya nasagot ninyo na po about iyong new strain sa UK. Second question niya: May COVID positive po na nakapasok sa NAIA 2 sa kabila ng mga health checks at nakasaad sa kaniyang medical result na positive siya for COVID. May paalala po ba kayo sa ating mga airport and ibang gateway authorities?

SEC. ROQUE:   Hindi ko po alam kung domestic iyan or international. Imposible pong mangyari iyan sa international kasi nga kina-quarantine sila habang hindi pa lumalabas ang kanilang PCR test. Kung ito naman po ay domestic, ang alam ko po ay hinihingan din sila ng PCR test at ngayon nga po ay sina-subsidize na nga ng mga kumpanya iyong kanilang mga PCR tests. 3,300 na lang daw po ang bayad kapag magpapa-PCR sa mga airlines.

USEC. IGNACIO:   Opo. Question mula po kay Sandra Aguinaldo, nasagot ninyo na po about doon sa new strain sa UK. Gayun din po iyong kay Kris Jose, nasagot ninyo na. And kay Jam Punzalan, nasagot ninyo na rin.

Ang second question naman po ni Jam Punzalan ng ABS-CBN: The #oustdutertenow trended again this morning with thousands of social media users linking the twin murders by a policeman to President Duterte’s alleged leniency with cops. What would you like to say about this? And how will the President prevent the PNP from being linked again to brutality?

SEC. ROQUE:   Nasagot ko na po iyan. Iyong patayan na iyan, wala pong kinalaman sa katungkulan nung pulis bilang isang pulis. Ito po ay isang ordinaryong krimen na iimbestigahan; lilitisin at paparusahan po ang mga nagkakasala.

USEC. IGNACIO:   Question from Joseph Morong of GMA 7: Can you give us an update on the vaccine—

SEC. ROQUE:    Iyong #oustduterte naman po alam naman natin kung sino ang nasa likod niyan, ‘no – iyong mga gahaman sa kapangyarihan at hindi makahintay ng 2022.

USEC. IGNACIO:   Opo. Question from Joseph Morong ng GMA News: Can you give us an update on the vaccine negotiations with manufacturers especially Moderna and then Pfizer. How many doses are we targeting?

SEC. ROQUE:    Ganoon pa rin po ‘no, 60 million po ang ating initial target at ang sinabi po ni Secretary Galvez, inaasahan pa rin natin na by the first quarter mayroon na tayo at least Sinovac, Sinopharm; at pagdating po ng second quarter eh madadagdagan na po ng mga gawa po ng Pfizer sana po, ‘no. At pagdating po ng—definitely fourth quarter eh halos na po iyan magkakaroon tayo ng supply, ‘no, basta ang ating tinututukan po, Sinovac, AstraZeneca, iyong Pfizer, iyong Gamaleya, at—nakalimutan ko kung ano pa iyong panlima.

USEC. IGNACIO:   Opo. Iyong susunod namang tanong ni Joseph Morong: How much is the total budget for vaccine—

SEC. ROQUE:    Ito naman po ay sang-ayon din sa advice po ng WHO ‘no na magkaroon tayo ng portfolio of sources dahil sa dami ng demand po hindi po talaga kakayanin ng isang kumpanya lamang ang magsu-supply ng bakuna.

USEC. IGNACIO:   Iyong second question po ni Joseph Morong: How much is the total budget for vaccine programs? 73 billion is for the vaccines only? How about the other expenses like manpower and other equipment?

SEC. ROQUE:   Mayroon po tayong 2.5 na nakapasok sa ating budget para sa mga peripherals at mayroon pa po tayong savings ng hanggang ten billion na puwedeng gamitin po para diyan sa mga peripherals.

USEC. IGNACIO:   Tarlac murder: Is the state or is the President going to protect him?

SEC. ROQUE:   Bakit ho puprotektahan ni Presidente iyan eh hindi naman po iyan service-related ‘no; iyan po ay pribadong bagay. Nagkataon lang pulis siya pero kinakailangan siyang managot.

USEC. IGNACIO:    From Einjhel Ronquillo ng DZXL-RMN: Reaction daw po ng Palasyo sa pag-absuwelto kina Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque at Senator Manny Pacquiao sa quarantine breach batay sa report ng PNP.

SEC. ROQUE:    No comment po. The report speaks for itself.

USEC. IGNACIO:   Question from Melo Acuña for Secretary Harry Roque: What measures would the government implement to encourage more jobs effective January?

SEC. ROQUE:    More jobs? Well, ang ating 2021 Budget ay ang pinakamalaking stimulus package din po natin. Lahat po ng programa ng gobyerno na alam natin na ginamit natin under Bayanihan 1 and 2 ay gagamitin pa rin natin. Nandiyan iyong mga programa ng DOLE gaya ng TUPAD; nandiyan iyong mga pautang ng Small Business Corporation; at nandiyan din po iyong mga pautang ng Department of Agriculture; at gagamitin din po natin ang mga pondo galing po sa mga Government Owned and Controlled Corporation gaya ng mga bangko para mabigyan po ng kapital iyong mga nais magkaroon ng sariling mga negosyo.

USEC. IGNACIO:   Question for Mr. Kelly Bird: The Philippine economy has taken a beating due to COVID-19. With all the loans we have incurred, would the Philippines still have the capacity to settle them on time? Would ADB as an institution be more lenient with its member countries in settling its loans?

MR. BIRD: Thank you for that, Christian. The Philippines has a very strong fiscal situation coming into the crisis, they have significant fiscal space, they that have a fiscal program that was announced a few months back for 2021 and 2022, the debt levels are increasing but they understand it will be around 54-58% of GDP around 2o22. So, that’s still relatively low for a country that has a triple B plus rating. So at this point of time, the country has quite strong fiscal fundamentals and so therefore debt is not really a concern.

USEC. IGNACIO:   Thank you, sir. For Secretary Roque, question from Sam Medenilla: When will ADB and the Philippine Government formally sign an agreement for the financing of COVID-19 vaccine? What are the terms of the said agreement?

SEC. ROQUE:    Ang alam ko po sa lalong mabilis na panahon po iyan; but Mr. Bird can comment as well.

MR. BIRD: Okay. Thank you very much! So, we’re working very closely with the Department of Finance and Department of Health to have the project financing approved quickly. Everyone’s working intensely over the Christmas and the New Year period. The terms of the loan will be concessional similar to most ADB projects. For example, the pricing is at plus 50 basis points that’s relatively low cost borrowing.

USEC. IGNACIO:   Thank you po, Secretary Roque. May date na po kaya kung kailan pipirmahan po ni President Duterte ang bill extending the effectivity of Bayanihan 2 at saka iyong ang 2022 Budget?

SEC. ROQUE:    Well, nasabi ko na po dati, ang dalawang petsa po na nakareserba ay 23 at 28, hindi ko lang po alam kung magbabago po iyan.

USEC. IGNACIO:   Opo. Question from Pia Rañada: The Tarlac Provincial Police chief says the shooting suspect Jonel Nuezca had his firearm even while off duty because President Duterte had given orders for cops to have their guns even while off duty. Does the shooting incident prompt the President to rescind or modify this order?

SEC. ROQUE:    Hindi po. Gaya ng aking nasabi kanina, isang bugok lang po iyang pulis na iyan; hindi naman po lahat ng pulis eh gaya niya. Siyempre po, ang baril eh para sa proteksyon ng ating mga kapulisan, hindi po iyan para gamitin laban sa kanilang mga personal na mga kaaway.

USEC. IGNACIO:   Second question niya: Does the Palace believe that Tarlac shooting—

SEC. ROQUE:    In any way, policy cannot be formulated on the basis of aberrations, ‘no.

USEC. IGNACIO:   Opo. Second question niya: Does the Palace believe the Tarlac shooting incident proves the police should go back to its tradition of muzzling firearms during the holidays? Does the President or the Palace think PNP Chief Debold Sinas is at fault for skipping the gun muzzling practice?

SEC. ROQUE:    Hindi naman po barilan ito para sa Bagong Taon. Iyong gun muzzling po para masigurado na hindi gagamitin ang baril bilang paputok sa Bagong Taon.

USEC. IGNACIO:   From Mikhail—

SEC. ROQUE:    Uulitin ko po ‘no, talagang exception po ang mga bugok sa kapulisan; by and large po matindi po ang disiplina naman ng ating mga kapulisan.

USEC. IGNACIO:   Opo. Question from Mikhail Flores: Kung nakita ninyo na po or if you have seen the video of the shooting incident and can you verify its authenticity?

SEC. ROQUE:    I’m in no position po to verify its authenticity kaya nga po medyo reserved ako sa aking mga comments. Pero I’m sure halos lahat ng Pilipino ay nakita na iyang video na iyan.

USEC. IGNACIO:   Okay. So far, Secretary, iyan po iyong mga nakuha nating tanong sa Malacañang Press Corps.

SEC. ROQUE:    Okay. Maraming salamat. We’d like to thank Director Bird for joining us in our Presidential Briefing today. I’d like to ask for your understanding; we were delayed in our flight coming to Davao. We were supposed to leave Manila at 10:30 but departed I think 11:15 ‘no. So, that I guess some kind of a good news kasi parang nagkakaroon na ng delay ngayon sa NAIA dahil sa traffic, dati po walang mga flights na lumilipad.

Pero maraming salamat din po sa ating mga kasama sa Malacañang Press Corps at maraming salamat po sa inyong patuloy na pagsubaybay. Mamayang gabi po ay magkakaroon ng Talk to the People ang ating President, abangan po natin iyan.

Sa ngalan po ng inyong Presidente Rodrigo Roa Duterte, ito po ang inyong Spox nagsasabing: Ingat po tayo dahil parating na ang bakuna.

Mula po sa siyudad ng Davao, magandang hapon po sa inyong lahat!

 

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SOURCE: PCOO-NIB (News and Information Bureau-Data Processing Center)