News Release

Amid virus scare, President Duterte asks Filipinos to remain calm, vigilant

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has appealed for calm and unity Thursday as the nation faces very serious threat from the highly contagious 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) asking the people to shun disinformation and observe strict personal hygiene.

In his video message aired by the Radio TV Malacanang, the President called on the Filipinos to stay vigilant and follow the guidelines by the local health authorities as well as the World Health Organization (WHO).

“I call on our people to remain calm, vigilant, responsible and I also ask your trust, cooperation, and support as we face the challenge. Tayo ay magkaisa, together as one nation… this challenge can be overcome,” President Duterte said in his message to the nation. “Maging malinis. Hugasan ‘yung kamay frequently.”

The President has assured the public that the government is working with the WHO, medical organizations and its partners in the private sector to address the challenge posed by COVID-19.

He also warned against disinformation, advising the public to rely on credible sources of information such as the WHO.

“Maging maingat at ‘yung mga impormasyon na importante na manggaling sa WHO ay ating pakinggan at huwag makinig d’yan sa mga haka-haka,” he said.

“Sa gobyerno kayo nakatutok. Nandyan ang totoo sa gobyerno, wala d’yan sa mga taong haka-haka na wala namang ginawa kung hindi manakot para kapwa sa n’ya tao.”

Last Sunday, the government repatriated Filipinos from the affected areas in China, who are now in a 14-day quarantine in Tarlac.

President Duterte also assured Filipinos who remain in areas under lockdown in China that the government is ready to bring them home if they opt to.

So far, there are only three confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections in the Philippines and none of those infected is a Filipino national. Philippine authorities said there is no evidence yet of local community transmission of COVID-19 in the country. PND