News Release

Gov’t may resort to selling assets to fight coronavirus, says President Duterte

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte holds a meeting with some members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on April 8, 2020. TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte holds a meeting with some members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on April 8, 2020. TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said he may opt to dispose government assets as last resort to keep the country afloat as it grapples with COVID-19 pandemic.

President Duterte presided Wednesday the meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) in Malacañang.

“What is the endgame? ‘Pag maubos talaga ang pera, ipabili ko lahat ng propiedad ng gobyerno,” he said during a televised address.

“Iyang Cultural Center, PICC, ‘yung lupa diyan, totoo, that’s the last… “Pag wala na akong makuha and we are about to sink and really sink, I will sell all the assets of government tapos itulong ko sa tao.”

“Ibibigay ko sa inyo ‘yan. And do not worry about the money.”

The President has recently signed the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic that has put the country in standstill.

He, however, said that the government is looking for additional sources of funds admitting that the allotted P270-billion emergency subsidy was not enough.

Congress has authorized the President to set aside P200 billion worth of cash aid to be distributed to some 18 million low-income families ranging from P5,000 to P8,000 depending on the wage rates in their regions.

Meanwhile, President Duterte warned lessors not to pressure tenants into paying rents as everyone struggles to cope with the extended Luzon-wide community quarantine.

“Alam mo, lahat tayo nawalaan ng income. So I’d like to ask the owners na kung maaari, ‘yung sa lote, to suspend — ‘yung sa bahay huwag mo munang hingiin kasi wala talaga o kaya naghihirap ngayon,” he told landlords. “And whatever na ang nasa kamay ng mga tao ngayon, they are saving it for the last day, the rainy days to come.”

“Nagmamakaawa ako sa inyo. Huwag ninyong pilitin ang mga tao ngayon. Walang pilitan kasi talagang mag-e-engkwentro tayo. Hindi talaga ako papayag,” he further said.

Recently, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has imposed a 30-day grace period for rent collection to help residential and commercial tenants cope with the effects of the enhanced community quarantine. PND