President Rodrigo Roa Duterte met with former secretaries of the Department of Health (DOH) and other medical experts yesterday, April 20, to listen to their recommendations on what to do after April 30, or the last day of the extended Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).
In a media briefing held in Malacanang today, April 21, Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque, Jr. disclosed that in the said meeting, medical experts recommended the continuation of the ECQ or the implementation of a modified or relaxed ECQ depending on the number of cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in various localities all over the country.
“Wala pong nagrekomenda ng total lockdown. Ang opsyon na lumabas kahapon ay ipagpatuloy, di naman kaya i-relax o di naman kaya completely itigil ang ECQ sa iba’t ibang lugar ng bansa depende sa dami ng kaso ng COVID-19,” said Secretary Roque.
The Palace official also quoted PRRD on the questions that the latter asked the experts yesterday. These included questions like what will happen if the ECQ is lifted and what good will lifting or relaxing ECQ do to certain sectors of society.
The President also asked the estimated deaths once the ECQ is lifted, modified or retained; the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19 cases if ECQ is relaxed or lifted; and the danger for the disease to spike anew if people are allowed to go out of their homes.
Relative to finding solutions to fight COVID-19, the President through the Presidential Spokesperson, announced that he will be giving a P10-M reward to any Filipino who will discover a vaccine for COVID-19.
“Inanunsyo po ng Pangulo na sya ay magbibigay pabuya ng hanggang sampung milyong piso sa kahit na sinong Pilipino na makakadiskubre ng vaccine laban sa COVID-19,” said Secretary Roque.
“Pinapa-anunsyo din po ng ating Presidente na sya po ay magbibigay ng isang substantial grant sa UP at sa UP-PGH para po maka-develop nga ng bakuna laban dito sa COVID-19,” Roque added.
On the appointment of Acting Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Secretary Roque underscored President Duterte’s marching orders to Acting Secretary Chua.
“Unang-una, ipatupad sa lalong madaling panahon ang National ID system. Pangalawa, atupagin po itong COVID recovery plan, at pangatlo, yung mas mabilis at mas mabuting pag-implementa ng mga Build Build Build projects sa pamamagitan ng Investment Coordination Committee,” said Roque. ### OPS-PCOO