News Release

Gov’t on top of situation amid coronavirus fight, says President Duterte

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte holds a meeting with some members of his Cabinet to discuss updates on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Presidential Security Group (PSG) Compound in Malacañang Park on March 24, 2020. TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte assured the Filipino people on Tuesday that the entire government is working hard to safeguard public health and safety in the midst of the threat posed by COVID-19 and thanked Congress for granting him special powers.

In his message to the nation, President Duterte vowed to address different issues brought about by the pandemic as well as ensure the protection of the people, especially frontliners.

Supplies of food, water and other essentials will be provided to the people as the country fights the coronavirus, he said, adding financial assistance will be extended especially to the marginalized and vulnerable groups.

He made a renewed appeal calling on every Filipino to participate in “this war by following the guidelines set by the national government and your local officials”.

“Nothing is more important now than your cooperation. I repeat: Stay at home. Huwag matigas ang ulo. The outcome of this war depends largely on you as well,” he said in his message.

The President also asked relevant agencies to ensure the speedy delivery of basic medical supplies and equipment to health facilities so that everything goes smoothly and without delay.

He then made an appeal to his fellow public servants, saying, “Let us set aside our differences and work in solidarity to overcome this pandemic. We only have one common enemy and that is COVID-19. Our transparency, integrity, accountability and responsiveness are needed and I expect all of you to exercise all these in safeguarding our fellow Filipinos”.

The government is on top of the situation, the President said, as he asked Filipinos for their patience, understanding and cooperation. With their support, the nation will emerge triumphant, he stressed.

Also in his message, President Duterte expressed his gratitude to Congress for granting the executive department with special powers with the approval of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act aimed at effectively responding to the challenges caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

He praised Senate President Vicente Sotto III and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano for their strong and decisive leaderships.

The President also announced Tuesday that the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), along with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), are ramping up the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) to reinforce the efforts of the Department of Health in containing COVID-19.

The secretary of national defense, serving as the national action plan chair with the secretary of the interior and local government as vice chair, will provide regular report on the National Action Plan.

The President’s message to the nation came as the Philippines started the second week of community quarantine and its enhanced form in Metro Manila and various parts of Luzon in a bid to contain the highly contagious virus that has also spread globally. PND