Meeting of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte With Emerging Infectious Diseases Experts on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) – Part II

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte went back to Manila a day after Christmas to meet selected members of his Cabinet along with infectious disease experts. The emergency meeting, held in Malacañang Palace on December 26,2020, was convened to discuss the emerging fast-spreading new variant of Coronavirus (Covid-19) disease found in the United Kingdom. KING RODRIGUEZ/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte went back to Manila a day after Christmas to meet selected members of his Cabinet along with infectious disease experts. The emergency meeting, held in Malacañang Palace on December 26,2020, was convened to discuss the emerging fast-spreading new variant of Coronavirus (Covid-19) disease found in the United Kingdom. KING RODRIGUEZ/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

PRESIDENT RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE: I hope you would not come to this situation. Let us resume the meeting. You can… Guys, go ahead and eat. Be informal about this. Kumain lang kayo diyan na nag-uusap tayo.

After this discussion among government employees like us, we would like to ask the medical people if there is anything that they oppose, anything that they think it’s not good or the modality is not regular. Kindly voice out your opinion. We would be happy.

As a matter of fact, that’s the reason why we invited you because we are not medical people. Kaya ho kayo naimbita kasi madagdagan ‘yung knowledge namin.

I’m reminded of my catechism noon sa Bible about pestilence. Piste itong… This is actually a pestilence. The — ‘yung…

So ganito ‘yan, we treat the new strain just like what — how we treated the COVID-19. The only thing here is that we agreed that… Si Art naman he knows his business, a fumigation ng cargo, ng luggage. Kaya man siguro ‘yan. It’s just a matter — i-spray lang naman ‘yan eh. You fumigate nga para to make sure that…

Because there are different theories. One is that it does not pose any danger about COVID sticking to inanimate things, mga bagahe. But there are some other scientists say that it’s capable of transmission and it sticks in the mga inanimate things.

So the best thing is just to address all problems at the same time. We will treat the new strain as if we are treating the COVID — the way we treated the COVID. And if it is toxic, virulent, as the doktora says, we will respond accordingly and it might be something like a lockdown if things get worse.

So it would depend on the severity of the contamination and the number of people that’s being contaminated. Then we maybe meet again and talk about adding more in the protocol to safeguard the nation. Ang ano naman dito is really the people. Our job is to protect the people and the nation and so we are here.

Kung wala na kayong mga ibang department secretaries, we would ask the medical experts whether what we are planning to do is sound and doable. If not, kindly tell us, educate us so that we would know what to do, the proper thing to do.

Kung may kulang man o may sumobra and it is not really needed, kindly tell us how we got it wrong so that we can be, I said, informed of the war on — how to wage a war against the COVID-19 and the new strain. Ang takot ko lang baka mag-mutate nang mutate every time that there’s a vaccine mag-mutate itong mga loko-loko na ito. Saan galing? I do not know. But as I said ang catechism ko sa grade school it’s pestilence. Pinepeste talaga itong p**… So we are here to ask for your help. So anybody from the — who would like to…? Yes, sir. Kindly.

DOH SECRETARY FRANCISCO DUQUE III: Mr. President, he is Dr. Camilo Roa.

CAMILO ROA:[Ayan na, ito na, okay na.] Yes, thank you, Mr. President. I am a clinician, I’m a pulmonologist. So my sense is that going back to the circumstance of the discovery of the — of the strain that it was in UK, and UK was experiencing a spike, it so happened that UK has this extensive surveillance as well. I mean 10 percent or more of the cases nakita nila. What about in other countries where there are spikes and there is little surveillance? I understand sa US one percent lang.

Malalaman na mayroong mutant virus na either increasing in infectiousness or hopefully not increasing in severity ang disease niya, late na.

So what I’m driving at maybe the measures talked about earlier will not just be based on the reports of the strain identified but also in the statistics of different countries where there is, you know, by statistics — we have very good epidemiologists here — highly suspicious spike in either number of cases or deaths and take the proactive measures until ma-prove ‘yon baka behavior lang or baka poor nutrition na hindi ‘yon dahil sa mutant.

Kasi mutation will really occur whenever the virus is populating different cells and reproducing. That’s natural. So in those cases — suspect —  we do something about it para hindi huli na nakapunta na sa atin.

In the same way, Mr. President, kung mayroon tayong barangay or city na biglang ganoon, and that we have been doing actually, granular kaagad ‘yung measures para ma-discover kung baka dahil lang sa behavior nga o baka may nakalusot from UK or somewhere that we found a bit late. Thank you, Mr…

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Salamat, doctor. That is why there has to be a — nakatutok lang dito. Nobody — nothing about entering or… Nakatutok lang ito sa mga countries, lahat tinamaan ngayon eh. But magtutok tayo dito sa countries where we think that there is a spike and especially dito sa atin and we would know that.

So ang ano talaga dito is surveillance. The only way that we can be prepared — not avoid, we cannot avoid it — but be prepared to confront the new virus if we know in advance how it will progress in coming into our country.

So we have to… And the — about the only thing really that’s good about this contagion now is that every country is telling — it’s transparent, telling the truth. And even China admitted that the COVID-19 started from there.

And itong new strain, of course, it’s the first country who reported it was Britain. So pag-aralan natin, sabi ko may — may nakatutok talaga diyan. But I would suggest that we create a panel or a — who would just be — whose job would be only to observe the different progression and the identification of the new strain.

Apparently, there is because Spain, ayan oh, first case nila. Saudi Arabia, mayroon sila, sinara na nila, all in-bound are suspended.

Tayo dito, we will meet again about — today is 26, we will meet again on the 28 something. Sandali lang, we’ll just — you know, just try to figure out how we are doing and if our preparation is necessary.

Because in between, by and large, eh hindi naman natin malaman kung bukas mayroon o wala. So we should meet on the — be of the time, I would ask you to… Kung kaya lang ninyo, 28 then after Christmas about mga January 3. We will inform you. This is just a timeline but exactly when, puwede namang it could be moved or transferred to another date.

Ang gusto kong malaman ‘yung mga — what’s in the mind of the experts. Can we hear?

SEC. DUQUE: Mr. President, the OIC WHO country representative, Dr. Socorro Escalante, would like to manifest, Mr. President, may we recognize her.

SOCORRO ESCALANTE:Good evening, Mr. President, and thank you so much, Secretary Duque. First and foremost, Mr. President, we agree with the experts na nagsabi na po kanina that we are expecting the mutation of this virus, and because the more the virus will circulate, the more chances of mutation.

And we agree that it’s the same characteristics and attributes in terms of the mode of transmission, except as Secretary Duque has already said, we are still looking into other attributes such as the transmissibility or kung mas grabe po ‘yung pagkaka-infect or ‘yung pathogenicity ng virus.

So considering that, Mr. President, our — the WHO recommendation for now is not to restrict travel but to ensure that our public health interventions are in place and that the country is ready to mitigate any — any event that the — that the transmissibility or this new strain will come into the country.

But there are three points, Mr. President, that we want to add. Unang-una po, we want to encourage more thorough risk assessment of the situation. And risk assessment could really, especially, if this circumstance would — if we are going to meet again on the 28th, we will look at the data that is being submitted by the member-states to the WHO through the International Health Regulation. And by this information, we will get the latest update from the different countries.

And this risk mitigation, Mr. President, would include looking at of what is the current stage of transmission of this specific variant in the country of origin of our passengers. For example po, if we are looking for example for Australia, Japan and Singapore, although mayroon na pong na — the cases that have been detected and reported through the International Health Regulations, by this basis, we would not encourage like lockdowns or restrictions of travel because the numbers are low and these are also the countries which have very stringent public health interventions.

So kung malakas po ‘yung public health intervention ng isang country and the cases are limited to imported cases at wala pa naman pong community transmission, it is not going to warrant the declaration of a lockdown from that country.

On the other hand, the risk mitiga —the risk assessment could also be for our count — for our — for the national risk assessment, we need to take this opportunity to look at saan ba ‘yung gaps ng mitigating measures natin, including for example, the points of entry how we quarantine, and how we isolate the individuals plus our own surveillance.

In the past nine months — nine months, Mr. President, we do observe that the government has already put all the necessary public health interventions and measures.

But we have learned also a lot of lessons on the capacity of our local governments to really prepare, to mitigate the risks when people are traveling abroad or from Manila to the provinces.

And the biggest lessons that we have had is when individuals coming from places where there is ongoing community transmission or high level of transmission will go to places where wala pa tayong infection.

So these individuals will seed those localities. And when the local government units or those areas are not ready for contact tracing isolation and quarantine then lumalabas po at nakakalusot ‘yung infection.

So now, in this current situation, the risk that we are seeing, Mr. President, is the increased mobi — mobility of the population and what is happening in the UK. But that is only a part of the risk. The second — the second part of the risk is how strong our public health intervention in this country will be able to cope up with this risk.

So in — in the meantime, Mr. President, we would really encourage the country to add the measures on thorough risk assessment plus risk mitigation by ensuring the capacity of our public health systems in the country.

Another point, Mr. President, is we would support the inclusion of genomic sequencing in our surveillance system. Because as we said, this virus is going to mutate and we do not know if there are already mutations also in our country that is actually causing faster transmission or we do not know the attribute and nature of the virus that is already circulating.

So WHO is in support of the National Institute of Health and the RITM on the move to strengthen the — the genomic sequencing in the country.

Last point, Mr. President, regarding po ‘yung Sabah, Malaysia. We have confirmed, as of now, from information within WHO that the variant that they have identified in Sabah is not the same as the variant in UK but it’s similar to other mutations that’s located in South Africa, in Australia, and in — in Netherlands.

So — and we do not yet know what is the significance of this mutation and what are the implications in terms of public health system.

So again, Mr. President, to summarize the point that we are — that we would like deliver to the body:

1.)    We expect virus mutations and this is expected to happen;

2.)    Our public health interventions that are needed and are already proven to be effective are in place. We just need to systematize and strengthen them;

3.)    We need to ensure that we do thorough risk assessment and that risk assessment is about the country of departure of the passengers plus the capacity of our health systems to handle the arrivals;

4.)    Risk communication is very important.

So thank you so much, Mr. President, and to the body. And WHO will continue to be part of these discussions and be part of the risk assessment, as well as to provide continued information as we gather from other countries.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes, you — it’s a very good narrative, lalo na ‘yung ano. I’d like to zero in on itong surveillance pati ‘yung the way of the — ‘yung interdiction ng — it’s not intervention, it’s really interdiction how the local governments would also help us.

Alam mo, ang pag-asa talaga natin dito si Secretary Año because sa lahat na ito it’s — aside from us here in Manila — eh sa probinsiya it’s always the may — the mayor, municipal mayor and the city health officer plus the barangay captain. And the most influential diyan sa barangay is really the barangay captain.

And if the mayor — kanya-kanya mang assessment, kanya-kanyang ano, eh without being… Iyong sa Davao ngayon, ang mayor doon nag-curfew. The curfew was originally seven o’clock, then there were a lot of complaints. It’s moved — it has been moved to nine.

But kung ganoon sila ka-ano, ka — zealousness ‘yan, ang trabaho nila and with the push of Secretary Año sa lahat, make them obligatory. Kasi itong mga barangay captain… Actually, government has the perfect setup. You have the president, then you have the governors, then you have the city mayors, municipal mayors, then the different barangays.

Alam mo, ang pinaka ano ang ano diyan is the mayor and the barangay captains. So make it an obligation for them to really strictly follow also the whatever direction that we take in this fight against COVID.

There has to be a unani — unanimity rather, in the modality kasi kapag hindi, kanya-kanya o tamad-tamaran. So it behooves upon the Secretary of Health to also to move them to action. Walang magtamad-tamaran.

Ganito na lang, if they are not at par — in parity with the rest of the nation, ah ‘di palitan natin sila. In the meantime, we do not remove them from office, palitan, just move aside and maybe the vice mayor can do it. Ganoon na lang ang gawin. That’s my suggestion to Secretary Año. If they are not doing the  very things that are important to the — in the — in this fight, ‘yung iba they take it as — just an ordinary thing. They do not really maybe they have not realized the seriousness, then we can always move — move them.

We do not remove them from office. You just step aside and assign the — the next persons who can do it, including the mayors. Makikita mo ‘yan sa spike. We are talking about kung mag-spike ang isang barangay, then sa surveillance and sa investigation we should be able to determine why. Bakit?

Ah because — kasi ‘yan sa health authorities na ‘yan, kay Secretary Duque ‘yan. But push them hard, Secretary, and tell them that… Well, I’m — I’m — we are live, I hope that this will be heard by everybody. Talagang obligasyon ng mayor ‘yan to protect public health. It’s not — hindi ‘yan — iyo talaga ‘yan.

Hindi — hindi mo maipasa ‘yan sa iba, that is your job, that is your function. So mayors must exert efforts na sa kanilang barang — kanilang munisipyo at barangay is working and they can push hard also the barangay captains.

Iyong mga barangay captains na hindi tumatrabaho and the surveillance in Manila would just notice that there is a spike in your barangay, then we will investigate why na may spike. So if others — compared to the others yours is in a worse situation, tell me why is it like that.

Iyang trabaho talaga ng gobyerno ‘to eh. It — it’s not the job of just anybody. It falls heavily on the shoulders of government. So iyang istraktura na ’yan, we have to make use of it because that is what is intended for in the first place. That structure there is part of the governance. That the government has at least control over the — the events, sa mangyari sa ating bayan.

This time, lahat tayo. I said it behooves upon everybody who is with government to contribute. Dapat lang gawin ninyo, nakikinig kayo sa sinasabi ng ano. Iyong surveillance talaga importante. And well, if there’s a lot of people who are sick then maybe the government — the national government would also contribute something to control the pandemic in your place.

Anybody from…? Yes, sir. May I?

SEC. DUQUE: Mr. President, Dr. Ed Salvaña was going to manifest and then to be followed by Dr. Gepte.
EDSEL SALVAÑA: Good evening, Mr. President. Good evening to everyone. May — thank you very much for giving us the opportunity to speak. I think one thing that has to be cleared, this is not the first time that we are seeing a variant coming to the country.

If we remember in June when we had the surge of cases, there was actually a new variant that came from Europe, ‘yung D614G, and this was actually worse. It was three to nine times more infectious than the original virus po.

And if you remember, we had about 6,000 cases at the peak of that surge, and so we know what happens when we get a variant in. But that what also at the same time that we went po from ECQ to GCQ.

So we know how to deal with these variants po and as Secretary Duque has already mentioned, the minimum health standards are the key — the implementation. And I think what we have now is actually some advance information hindi kagaya noong dati na nakapasok na lang siya and RITM was able to detect it but it was already here.

So ngayon, may advance information tayo so we are actually prepared so that we can preempt any kind of spike without resulting to drastic measures like lockdown. Hopefully hindi siya mag-spike that high.

Now, the other question is: Will this — will the vaccine still work on this variant? We do not know yet but because the mutation is still relatively new, and hindi pa ganoon ka mutated ‘yung virus compared to other illnesses like for instance sa HIV or sa influenza, we expect that the vaccine will still work against this.

But there is no guarantee that it will not continue to mutate and then the vaccine will start to lose efficacy. But that is not the end of the world because we can actually fix the vaccines as well. But that goes back to proper monitoring and surveillance so we know if the vaccine is already starting to lose efficacy so that we can preempt and we can add the strains to the vaccines para gumagana pa rin.

So basically, what I am saying is this not the first time we’re facing a variant. We know how to deal with it. And also, that surveillance is really key to making sure that our vaccines, once they get here remain effective. But we know what works and I think that we just have to make sure that we are doing the right public health interventions po.

Thank you, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes. You said it right. What is important is we would know or we should know whether it would work or not. Any, I said, interdiction into this pandemic now going on, masiguro lang natin na ‘yung ginagawa natin would be the correct one.

It’s important that you — the — it would reflect the situation that we are fighting for.

Yes, doctor? Si doctor.

SEC. DUQUE: Dr. Troy Gepte, Mr. President.

TROY GEPTE: Yes, good evening, Mr. President.


GEPTE: Susundan ko lang po ‘yung nasabi ni Dr. Edsel at saka ni Dr. Escalante. This is with regards po ‘yung doon sa suggestion niyo na magkaroon tayo ng separate task force or maybe a technical working group to look at the situation as it is kasi nagde-develop ho ‘yung nangyayari.

And I think as Dr. Escalante of WHO mentioned proper risk assessment will be very helpful for us to understand kung ano po ‘yung characteristics nitong new variant na ‘to, how it appears, and in the contribution of other member states or countries of WHO, they can help us come up with a good picture of what is happening.

With regards po doon sa surveillance natin, I think we need to also acknowledge po that we have a lot of success in our systems development for surveillance for diseases, contract tracing, ‘yung pagsi-setup po ng mga laboratories, health facilities.

And I think ang important po, aside from looking at where the diseases are, or ‘yung mga spikes or clusters, natutunton din po natin kung saan po medyo may kahinaan doon sa ating system. Varied po kasi ‘yung ating mga LGUs.

Some are performing better than others, but some are not that organized or kulang po sa capacity. And I think we should really be able to have that kind of granularity also to look at ‘yung systems performance natin down to the local level.

And I believe that DOH and DILG has that very close relationship so that we can inform them of what the probable gaps are in the surveillance system. And crucial po kasi kung mag-iisip tayo doon sa timing.

‘Pag kinulang tayo ng hour o kaya nahuli tayo nang kaunti, baka dumami ‘yung kaso and very crucial po ‘yung capacity building natin for surveillance. And nakasalalay po ‘yon doon sa office ng DOH Epidemiology Bureau, and all of their network doon sa epidemiology and surveillance units all over the country.

So I think how we tried to get that system and study it and how we can further add to its strengthening and improvement, all the better po for us to prepare ourselves for this threat of this new variant. It won’t be the first and last time po.

And I think there will be other opportunities for us to learn kung paano natin mapapaigting pa ‘yung ating mga measures against this particular threat of possible mutations in the future.

Iyon lang po, Mr. President. Thank you.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Thank you. Wala namang problema sa ano because si General Lorenzana, si General Año, pati si General Galvez are listening. So we would rely on their power, brain, to come up with the responses if it comes.

But let me revisit itong vaccine. I remember distinctly dito sa body that I said itong vaccine, ang pagbili, ang pag — to select and to what to buy, binigay ko ‘yan kay General Galvez. Solely kanya. Sabi ko, “Iyo ‘yan lahat trabaho.”

Then there comes this ruckus about a vaccine already about to be… Maniwala ka diyan sa Amerikano na ‘yan. So do not… So mayroong ano na delivery then the thing was spoiled by Secretary Duque. Tignan mo lang ang ano — tignan mo ang laro dito sa gobyerno na ‘to.

I placed it in the hands of General Galvez. Iyo lahat ‘yan. Pagka nagkabulilyaso ‘yan, ikaw ang titirahin namin. Iyo ‘yan. Well, of course, the policies would be made by General Lorenzana and General Año. Itong ano, sila ‘yan.

If it fails, then you have three generals to face the firing squad. [laughter] P***, ayusin ninyo ‘yan. Ang ano — they are here to just assist the… They do not take anything from Secretary Duque. So tutulungan lang nila ‘yan.

Pero ito pang vaccine, at what price, what is the brand, kay Galvez ‘yan lahat. So binigay ko ‘yan sa kanya. It means to say that I trust him to get a good bargain for government. Pero sa ngayon, lahat ng vaccine naman talagang nagmamadali.

But do not believe in that s*** about America delivering kaagad. Hindi nga niya ma-deliver doon sa kanilang lugar, dito pa. Itong America ano talaga. Don’t be too… Maniwala kayo. I’ve been with government. I have dealt with them many times.

And that’s why I have — naging cynic ako sa kanila. Kasi wala pa maski kung nandiyan. Eh kung ibigay eh ‘di ibigay. Wala man. Why do… If you want to help, if America wants to help, you deliver. Stop talking. What we need is the vaccine, not your verbose speeches.

Ang kanila lang kasi kay iyong Visiting Forces Agreement, matatapos na. Ngayon, ‘pag hindi ako pumayag, aalis talaga sila. Kung hindi sila maka-deliver ng maski na lang a minimum of mga 20 million vaccines, ah they better get out. No vaccine, no stay here. [laughter and applause]

Loko-loko talaga itong Amerikano. Bigay ka, bigay. Wala na maraming ingay. So they are put on notice that if you cannot produce the vaccine, 20 million at least, immediately… Ah mahirap ka nga diyan mismo in your own — you in your own country.

You choose Pfizer. Pfizer is up to its neck producing it for everybody. And then you promised so many countries of your vaccine. So ulitin ko, it is only General Galvez, the hero of Marawi, kaya niya ‘to.

So when is the earliest vaccine, General?

PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER ON PEACE PROCESS AND NTF COVID-19 CHIEF IMPLEMENTER CARLITO GALVEZ JR.: Sir, the Western-based vaccine, sir, the earliest sir is May, sir. So we are already ano — we are already 85 percent of the contract or 20 million for the government and 10 million for the private sector.

Then another US-based – India-based vaccine, we might be having our contract signed by January. Pfizer also by January, sir. And also Moderna, we just have an initial arrangement for 20 million doses.

So all in all sir if we will get Novavax, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, J&J, and also Moderna, we might have more or less 80 million doses. And also recently, last — at the evening of — at the evening of 24 and also in the morning, the Gamaleya of Russia also negotiated for another 25 million.

And for them, the efficacy of Gamaleya is 91.5 percent for the first dose and the second dose is 95. So we are asking them to submit the ano — the clinical trial number 3. And we hope that if we will be having all this ano — this contract closed by January, the earliest ano sir — the earliest is, if we will prove that Gamaleya is very safe and effective, they will produce it on February.

On Sinovac, sir, we’re still negotiating with the Sinovac Hong Kong. But for now, sir, Usec. Borje will make an arrangement again with the ambassador. So there is no ano sir na there is no truth ‘yung lumalabas na balita na we are focusing on only on few vaccine.

It is a portfolio. Basically, ang mauuna sir is AstraZeneca ‘yung magiging contract natin. Next is ang Novavax from Serum of India; next is Pfizer; and then maybe Johnson & Johnson. We have also the discussion of the head of terms and also the supply agreement and also with Moderna; and then followed by Gamaleya and also the Sinovac.

So the contract that we will be having is basically as I have said from Novavax, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, J&J, Moderna, Sinovac, and Gamaleya.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Don’t mind so much about the cost. The thing here is availability. Kung sino ‘yung mayroong maibigay sa atin and never mind if it’s a costing ‘yung kanila. Magsabi sila “Ours is much expensive because it is more potent,” sige bilihin mo na lang.

What’s available there, bilihin mo because it’s an emergency. Never mind about the costing. Wala na. Hindi natin pinapag-usapan ‘yan. Tutal hindi man kaagad bayad ‘yan. Eh ‘di dahan-dahan lang bayad natin next year tapos dalawang taon.

Then you say that, “give us another two years because our economy is in shambles.” So we have no money. Pero kunin mo na. Tanggapin mo na. Pero huwag mong sabihin na wala kang pera.

SEC. GALVEZ: Sir, Mr. President, sir, all doctors are here to ano — to allay some fears of the public. Sir, we will follow the ano, the ADB-World Bank standards. We have 1.3 billion that have been allocated by World Bank and ADB for the stringent qualification of every vaccine that will come here.

Sa ADB po, kailangan po na World Health — WHO-accredited ang vaccine na papasok sa atin. Pangalawa sir is kailangang may stringent regulation coming from US — either US, UK, or other stringent countries.

And then ‘yung W — ‘yung ano po, ‘yung World Bank po, mas mataas. Either two or three SRAs at saka kailangan po talaga dumaan po sa vaccine expert panel po natin at saka po sa ating FDA bago po natin makuha.

So napaka ano po, napaka-stringent po. Kaya kami po na gusto naming i-announce sa ating mga kababayan na ‘yung pinipili po natin na ano na vaccine is very safe and very effective considering that they will follow our stringent procedures, and at the same, they will follow the stringent procedures of our fund manager and fund ano — ‘yung tinatawag nating procurement agent, which is ADB and the World Bank, and the AIIB.

Iyon po.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I’d like also to call the attention of Atty. Domingo sa FDA. Ah, doctor. Doctor ka ba? Akala ko abugado ka. Nanay mo ang abogado? Ano ‘yung… Ano ‘yon, doc?

Ganito ‘yan. If it is already — it has passed the scrutiny of countries like the United States and made available to its citizens, UK, huwag mo nang patagalin ‘yung ano, process para kung ano man ang magdating sa inyo, gusto mo ikaw muna magtusok sarili mo ‘yon tapos if nothing happens to you, then let it go in a jiffy.

FDA DIRECTOR GENERAL DR. ENRIQUE DOMINGO: Yes. Mr. President, ‘pag naman po galing na sa stringent regulatory authority like the US-FDA or UK, minimal na lang po ‘yung additional requirements natin.

Ano na lang po: stability sa Pilipinas, sa klima natin, and of course some information lang po doon sa clinical trial nila na showing na ‘yung efficacy niya and safety in an Asian population is also similar to the general… Ginamit po kasi nila usually mga puti.

So mayroon naman pong mga 5 percent diyan usually na Asian. At ‘pag hiniwalay naman natin, nakita natin na pareho din ‘yung efficacy and safety niya, okay na po sa atin ‘yon. Tapos ‘yon lang po. Ang kailangan lang siguraduhin natin na ‘yung ni-register talaga nila sa America halimbawa eh ‘yon din ‘yung dadalhin nila dito sa atin. Baka po kasi mamaya ibang factory pala ‘yon o ibang paraan.

So we just have to make sure that the product that is registered in the US, for example, is the same product that will be brought here. At iyon lang pong mga kaunting local requirements lang po natin for stability dito po sa Pilipinas.

Kailangan lang po mapakita na ‘pag biniyahe naman siya papunta dito ay hindi nasisira po ‘yung bakuna. Pero mabilis lamang po basta po galing sa mga stringent na regulatory authority.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: How about… Let me ask you: How about the Chinese — iyong ano nila… Sinovac?

DOMINGO:We expect din po na mag-apply din sila probably by January because the — iyon pong clinical trial phase 3 nila is wrapping up ngayong December at lalabas na daw po ‘yung interim results nila.

So once we have that, then we can have an evaluation. Iyon nga lang po, medyo mas strikto lang po kasi wala pa pong pinanggalingang ibang FDA counterpart. But the vaccine expert panel po nila Dr. Montoya at saka sila Dra. Nina Gloriani, nangako na rin naman po na tutulong din po sa amin sa iyon pong mga taga-DOST so that we can evaluate. Puwede rin naman po silang mag-apply.


DOMINGO:Yes, sir. Kasi may EUA na po sila sa China eh. So they are — they allow it for use in their own country. So that gives us some confidence na ‘yon naman pong safety profile niya ay maganda.

Iyon nga lang po, dadaan lang po sa expert panel natin.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: I — I take it as a declaration of its potency. Iyong ano. Iyong declaration nila na it has passed the test because they gave it to almost one million of their soldiers.
DOMINGO:Mataas din po ‘yung early reports nila eh more than 80 percent din po. Parang 84 percent ‘yung efficacy rate. Kaya lang, the final interim report is still not yet published kaya hindi pa po namin na-a-access. At hinihintay din po namin para… Ibibigay naman daw po sa ano natin, sa expert panel.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Kung mag-ano ‘yan sa iyo, SinoPharmaceuticals, iyon nga, sabi ko it has passed the test sa kanila. Hindi naman ‘yan sila mag-ano kung if it is deleterious to their citizens. They would not even attempt to inject one person. Pero marami na.

At sabihin ko sa iyo, marami na ang nagpa-injection dito sa Sinopharm. At huwag kang tumingin sa akin kay hindi kita kilala. [laughter]

DOMINGO:Wala nga po kaming mahuli. Naka-tatlong raid na po kami sa Makati at saka sa Binondo pero wala naman po kaming nahuli pa.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Huwag… If it’s Sinopharm ‘yung ano talaga totoo. Ito na lang ang… Ako ang may problema ngayon. For example lang, puwede akong magpabakuna ulit pagdating ng Pfizer mo?

DOMINGO:Ah iyong… Kasi po bagong-bago pa ‘yung mga bakuna. Wala pa po tayong experience ‘no doon sa paggamit po ng isang bakuna at ang ibang bakuna pa. Although, I think our immunologists here and ano would say na possible naman po ‘no.

Kaya lang masyado lang pong bago pa kasi tapos iba-iba po ‘yung platform, iba-ibang teknolohiya na hindi pa po siguro tayo ready na paghalu-haluin.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Iyon ang… Sumasakit ‘yung ulo ng iba, hindi ako. Halos lahat ng sundalo natusukan na.

I have to be frank and I have to tell the truth. I will not foist a lie. Marami nang nagpatusok and lahat. Up to now, wala akong narinig sa — for the select few — not all soldiers, not all soldiers, hindi pa kasi policy eh.

If it’s a policy now to have them injected with… Pero gusto ko mauna sila because I do not want a sickly Armed Forces and a sickly police. The reason why is that they have to be in good health all the time because they are responsible for the law and order of this country.

At ito na, marami tayong kalaban dito sa — itong mga NPA. But kung tingin mo, may I ask you, kung ang NPA magpatusok sila, would you allow them?

DOMINGO:‘Pag pumunta po kasi po sa barangay health center eh, baka po hindi naman natin puwedeng i-turn away dahil iyon pong ating mga doktor at saka ‘yung mga nurse natin doon eh sumumpa po sila ‘no na lahat ay gagamutin nila at lahat bibigyan nila ng serbisyo.

So ‘pag pumunta po siguro ng kusang- loob sa health center natin, eh baka po kailangang bigyan din natin katulad po ng ibang mamamayan.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Bigyan mo ng tubig. [laughter] Ah hindi, hindi. The… Thank you.

The vaccine is available to every Filipino citizen, including the Communist NPAs so that you can fight better and you are healthy because I know that you will die.

‘Pag hindi talaga kayo naghinto, mamamatay talaga kayo lahat. That’s the… That’s the gospel truth of it all. We will make available to you itong mga… We will not… In the name of humanity, we will not deny kasi ano ‘yan eh. Pero just to make you healthy so that you will die.

‘Pag hindi kayo naghinto sa p**… You stop kasi ‘yung pera na kinukuha ninyo sa… Alam mo, let me just… Mag-segue ako. It’s Christmas time. Merry Christmas to you. Happy New Year kayong lahat.

Pero ito ang tandaan ninyo: Itong mga sundalo na NPA, itong mga Lumad, at itong misguided Filipinos for so many years now, they have been fighting almost siguro… Mayroon dito a couple. When the child was born, both husband and wife left to join the NPAs.

Dito ‘yung nagalit ako sabi ko because sabi ko, “Saan na ‘yung anak ninyo?” Katabi nila. Tapos nakapag-aral na so mag-sailor. Sabi ko nga, “Doon ka na sa Navy magpunta.” Doon ako nagalit. So sabi ko ipa-ano ko ‘yung ano ng… I was not joking. I was really…

Nagalit ako. Sabi ko, kita mo, iniwan ninyo ‘yung bata ngayon mas matangkad pa sa kanila. Iyong ang ano nito is ‘yung pera na ginagamit ng mga lider ninyo ay dugo ng Pilipino ‘yon. We cannot invite investors kasi sinusunog ninyo sa probinsiya.

Sinusunog ninyo ‘yung mga backhoe, mga tractor. Eh milyon ‘yan eh. And you deprive the Filipinos of good infrastructure, kayo na gagawa, hindi na magtuloy. Nagba-back out. Nobody is willing to take the — unless, magbayad.

Pero to tell you the truth, and to tell you — to tell the nation the truth, lahat bumibigay. Mga malls, mga — lahat. Lahat bumibigay. Alam ba ninyo ‘yan, mga NPA? Lahat ng malls. Ay hindi na ako mag… I won’t mention names.

Lahat ng malls dito sa Maynila nagbibigay ng taxation sa inyo. Lahat ng hotel. Kaya maraming pera pagkamilyon-milyon. Look. Saan nila pinapaaral ‘yung anak nila? Sa Europe. Itong anak ni Zarate. And now he wants to talk to me if it is to the best interest of the people.

It has nothing to do with the interest of the people, Atty. Zarate — Congressman Zarate. It is a question which I would like to ask you, saan mo kinukuha ‘yung pera na to finance the study of your son sa Europe?

Tinignan ko ‘yung lahat ng… I cannot read all. But nandito ‘yung sabi mo sponsored by the lola. The lola does not ever have an income tax. Wala. Walang… Matanda na. So you were lying actually and because the money that you finance the study of your child — of your son is taxation.

Ang taxation, ito namang mga — kayong mga loko-loko na nagpapa… You allow — nagpagamit kayo ng mga tarantadong itong mga lider ninyo. Sila, milyon-milyon. Lahat ha sabi ko lahat. Lahat ng mina, mines, companies, lahat ng mga logging-logging diyan, nagla-log over, nagbibigay ‘yan. Milyon ‘yan.

Pero ang sa inyo? Hanggang ‘pag… Anong binibigay sa inyo? Medisina para sa eczema. Puro… At saka malaria. Lahat kayo may malaria na diyan tapos pasunod-sunod kayo. Totoo ‘yan. Ako nagsasabi ako. Kaibigan man tayo noon.

Kaya lang noong na-Presidente ako, kalaban talaga tayo. Natural. Because mine now is the interest of the nation. Sinasabi ko lang hinto na kayo. Mag-surrender na kayo kasi walang ginawa ‘yang mga lider ninyo.

It’s plain banditry. There is no more ideological setup in their minds. Ang kanila na lang magkilkil sa mga tao. You are not fighting anything anymore, not even a religion, if you may, wala.

Pareho talaga kayo ng Abu Sayyaf. No different. Ako pa sa inyo mag-merge na lang. Totoo iyan. Wala kayong ginawa kung hindi mag — mag ano…

You want money to come to your hands through or by virtue of the blood and tears of other Filipinos. Sinisira ninyo ang bayan. We cannot… Pareho tayo ng eroplano, nasakay tayo lahat nag-te-take off tayo. Nandiyan na tayo sa runway pero wala tayong lift. Hindi tayo umangat hanggang endless runway lang ‘yan sige tumatakbo. Iyan ang Pilipinas dahil sa inyo, mainly dahil sa inyo, sa totoo lang.

What disturbs the public order in the Philippines ay kayo. Ang masakit diyan hindi ninyo alam na ang koleksyon ng mga ito sa mga nasa NDF, ‘yung mga lider ninyo pati si Sison. Sison, I forgot the paper —  this is not kasi the proper time, paano lang ako sabi ko mag-segue lang ako. He traveled — he’s traveling around Europe. Punta-punta pa doon sa mga snow, nag-snow…

Ah we are on live. Mabuti para masabi ko sa kanila mga ulol sila. Eh galit ako sa kanila. Good. Bring it to the people. Sumurender (surrender) na kayo. Ako, ‘pag nag-surrender kayo, bahay. Mayroong mga condo na ginagawa ko sa probinsiya, ‘pag nag-surrender kayo sabi ko na sa sundalo — para kanila ‘yon eh — sabi ko, “Bata, pasensiya ka na, ibigay na lang natin dito para madali ang pacification campaign.” Sabi niya, binigyan ko kayo ng trabaho, sinusuwelduhan ko kayo, iyong TESDA nandiyan, tinuturuan kayong mag-hanapbuhay, ang inyo, sige hingi ng pera doon sa mga tao.

Ako pa sa inyo ganito, kung ayaw talaga ninyo, maghingi, mag-taxation kayo, hawakan ninyo ‘yung pera. Pagdating ng mga NDF leaders, makipag-usap sa inyo about — wala, ideology  nothing. There’s nothing to talk about. Siguro sine napanood ninyo.

Ako pa sa inyo, i-hostage ninyo ‘yang NDF maghingi kayo ng ransom. Sabihin ninyo na ang pera lugi kami, bigyan ninyo kami. Diyan suportado ko kayo. I-ransom ninyo ‘yung — i-kidnap ninyo, hindi ako mag-ano. I will not lift a finger to help those idiots.

Kaya libre kayo sa ano — libre kayo sa vaccine sa COVID. Sabihin ko kay General Galvez na lahat ng Pilipino including you kasi Pilipino kayo. P*****…

Hindi — hindi ito ano ha — hindi ito gastos ninyo. Gastos ‘yan sa ibang tao, ibang Pilipino, not you. Kayo, extortion ang ginagawa ninyo.

Maghingi ako ng tawad sa body for the outburst. Hindi ko mapigilan sarili ko eh because we arrived at this issue of whether they should be vaccinated. All, all Filipinos. Ang Abu Sayyaf, mag-report lang kayo sa military, sila ang mag-bakuna sa inyo.

So, mayroon pa ba? Is there any other thing that we should be hearing?

SEC. DUQUE: Mr. President.


SEC. DUQUE: Can I just, sir, request ah… [pakibalik lang iyong recommendation]

And I’d like, sir, for your approval through a motion perhaps…


SEC. DUQUE: So that we can approve the recommendation and if the recommendations might stand improvement, so be it. [Can we look at the recommendations, Secretariat? Just so we can close this thing. Thank you. Sa recommendation lang po. Iyan po.]

Number one, sir, is we recommend a strict mandatory quarantine for countries that report new variant.

So travelers coming from countries or areas — Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia — with confirmed new variant, shall undergo mandatory completion of the 14-day quarantine regardless of the RT-PCR test results.

And then number two, countries with local community transmission of new variant will consider travel restrictions only when transmission of new variant is at the community level.

Perhaps the WHO can make a comment here as the source of the information where the community transmissions are happening and which countries, for our guidance, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: There are three recommendations and I’d like to ask the body if there is any comment?

Yes, Secretary Roque?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON HARRY  ROQUE: Mayor, Sec. Duque, what about extending the travel ban from the UK because it will expire on the 31st?


SEC. ROQUE: Iyong extension po of the travel ban from the UK dahil ‘yung travel ban po natin is only until the 31st of December?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Travel ban from here to UK?

SEC. ROQUE: Hindi po, from UK to here.


SEC. ROQUE: Hanggang 31 lang po.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: As a matter of fact, I’m telling you there is no way of knowing how this thing would evolve. It is evolving itong new strain but how far, how fast is the progression, wala pa tayong alam.

So the best way is really to play safe. You put a stop sa travel nila. That is a good. Kasali na man siguro iyan diyan.

SEC. ROQUE: Mayor, in addition, could I add a fourth one then and propose a fourth one? An extension of the travel ban for all flights coming from the UK including those who transited in the UK for another two weeks?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Okay. I accept that, it’s good. So it’s amended accordingly. Anyway, mayroon bang mga nagsusulat diyan? Kayo sa likod? Sila? Mukhang — mukhang holdaper man ‘yung mga babae diyan.

Okay. Number one is amended to include the motion of Secretary Duque — eh Roque. Is there any objection? Any comment? How about the second countries to… Is there a modification that you’d want to… Or is it complete by itself? I take it it is complete by itself.

So if there is no objection, no further comment, the recommendations is — are carried.

EXECUTIVE SECRETARY SALVADOR MEDIALDEA: Mr. President, how about the face-to-face — recall of the face-to-face education — ‘yung sa face-to-face, Mr. President?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Ay wala. Sinabi ko na. Iyong face-to-face ni Secretary Briones, I’m sorry to disappoint her. Hindi na puwedeng ano — there’s a variant because this variant attacks even young people. Itong — itong COVID original, baka may mga ano pa itong yawa na ito eh, selective na. Iyong COVID ito, it does not affect so much sa young people. They seemed to be not vulnerable. Pero itong strain ngayon, they say that it can affect sa the young — the young people.

So iyong face-to-face na klase wala na iyon. We’ll just wait for the normal prog — normal season of schooling. It’s bakasyon then June, hopefully, June baka mag-improve na at mabakunahan na una mga bata, ah ‘di okay na.

SEC. DUQUE: Mr. President?


SEC. DUQUE: The Executive Director of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, ED Dr. Montoya would like to manifest. Thank you, Mr. President.

JAIME MONTOYA: Thank you very much. Thank you very much, Secretary, and thank you very much, Mr. President.

I’d just like to — if it’s possible — because it seems to me that the genome sequencing was focused on people coming from the UK. We have to bear in mind that the mutations, as was already repeatedly mentioned by the medical experts, will not only happen from outside of the Philippines but can also happen within the country, independent of what is happening outside of the country by virtue of burden of disease infection.

So may I suggest that genomic surveillance as part of the biosurveillance should in — should be strengthened to include targeted sequencing in high-risk groups, for example, like clusters with increased cases, clusters with increased severity and deaths, because these are actually the indicators for probably new variants arising in the Philippine population. Thank you very much, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yeah. Ganito iyan eh. We are focused on people coming in from UK but let us see what — what develops in the coming days. We will meet on the 28th.

My — my take is that passengers or people coming in from countries badly hit or there’s really a — a full-blown contamination sa — we will include I think everybody. Not everybody but people who we believed come from places where the COVID-19 and the new variant is present and is rapidly contaminating people.

On the 28th hopefully, we will be meeting again and we can see what developed. We have to be very informed of the situation. It is I said evolving in — in well, in Britain it is a full-blown one, dito naman sa iba is mayroon ng one or two or three.

So we will calibrate our response depending on the severity and ang tama nila. If the — if they are hit severely and there is a spike now, we might consider everybody coming from…

Yes, ma’am?

ALETHEA DE GUZMAN: Mr. President, good evening po. We just like po to… Una, I feel very heartened po of continuously hearing the importance of surveillance. As someone from the Epidemiology Bureau, napakahalaga po talaga ‘no na ang surveillance siya ‘yung nakakahanap nung sakit pero ngayon na wala pa pong bakuna, ang importansiya niya ay ‘yung nabanggit niyo po na saan ang pagtaas at bakit po tumataas.

At ‘pag dumating po ang COVID vaccine, ang surveillance po ang magsasabi sa inyo kung effective po ‘no, ‘yung bakuna natin at nakaka-detect po siya ng mga adverse events para alam natin kailangan bang itigil ang pagbabakuna. Pero i-level up po natin siya and I think that’s what Dr. Jaime is saying.

The biosurveillance or genetic sequencing, hindi naman po kailangan lahat kasi una, it’s really expensive and there should be targeted population. At ang una po natin ay iyong mga galing UK. Ikalawa po, siguro sampling po noong mga hindi po galing UK pero galing po sa ibang bansa. Kasi po hindi natin alam eh baka ‘yung Hong Kong ngayon lang po kasi sila nade-detect pero we don’t know baka makita na rin po sa ibang bansa ‘yung mga bagong variant na ‘to or iba pa pong variant.

At ‘yung nabanggit nga ni Dr. Jaime, dito po, targeted ang sampling natin. Sino ‘yung may pagtaas, sino ‘yung nagka-cluster, kesyo community po ‘yan, workplace, or jails, iyon pong mga — kung may mga mataas ‘no na kaso ng severe disease or pagkamatay.

At iyong huli po, sir, ngayon ang dami na kasi nating kaso na hindi na natin alam saan galing eh. So hindi ko alam kung kuha siya sa trabaho, sa public transportation. Kailangan siguro, sampling ang term namin ‘no. Hindi lahat pero maliit na porsiyento para lang malaman natin saan kaya nanggagaling ‘no, sino ‘yung sources of infection at anong setting.

Mahalaga po iyon sa ekonomiya natin. Kung nakikita natin, ang source of infection pala mate-trace back ko sa workplace then we know. We need to do someting sa workplace or sa jails po siya or sa healthcare facility.

And that is something that the DOH, along with the other agencies, will prepare para alam natin ilan ‘to at magkano po iyong magagastos natin para po sa biosurveillance na ipo-propose po natin.

Thank you, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Will you comment on it?

SEC. DUQUE: Ah, yes. I support the manifestation of the ED Representative, Dr. De Guzman. We should really strengthen in general rather than in specific terms the biosurveillance capacity and in particular the genomic sequencing capacity. Because as correctly pointed out, the mutation is not just limited to UK. It is — in can happen everywhere, in fact ‘no. So it’s best to really characterize these new strains because it will influence, to a certain degree, our pandemic response ‘no.

So it is crucial that the biosurveillance capacity be ramped up and that is why in the number three recommendation, which I think deserves an amendment ‘no, warrants an amendment, which is not just limiting it to travelers from UK but really biosurveillance in as a whole the capacity strengthening. Iyon lang po, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: May na-ano ako… Nawala sa isip ko eh kasi pag-uwi ko diyan sa bahay ko, dumating ako kanina, nagbakasyon man lahat, cook, pati lahat. Ang naiwan iyong guwardiya lang. Sabi ko, walang luto. Problema ko saan ako magkain. Order na lang siguro ako ng ano…

Yes, actually tama iyan. Just think about it, ponder, then we will know by the — on the 28th, whether we are taking that course correctly.

Sino pa? Yes, ma’am. You want to?

SEC. DUQUE: She’s a… I would like to acknowledge, Mr. President, with your permission, Dr. Celia Carlos, Head of the RITM.

CELIA CARLOS: Good evening po.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes, go ahead, ma’am.

CARLOS: Proposed amendment, sir, for number three, we wish to amend that only PCR positive samples be referred for sequencing because it is not useful just to send samples if they are not PCR positive. So it will waste a lot of resources.

So proposed amendment is only PCR positive samples will be sent to either The Philippine Genome Center, The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine or the UP-NIH.

This has been discussed among us earlier. Thank you.

SEC. DUQUE: Yes, Mr. President, we agree with the — I agree with the proposed amendment to specifically state that only positive PCR test results — a equivalent swab be submitted for genomic sequencing.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: So may the record show that he — the proposed amendment is accepted and the original recommendation modified as such.

Yes, Secretary Guevarra.

DOJ SECRETARY MENARDO GUEVARRA: Mr. President, I would just like to add a fourth recommendation. And well, based on our discussions earlier, one very significant thing that I noted was the observation that this new COVID-19 virus has not yet reached Philippine shores.

So I guess that our main priority at this time is to ensure that this new virus strain will not enter the Philippine territory.

So with that, Mr. President, las December 15, you issued an Executive Order further strengthening our border controls through the adoption of the Advance Passenger Information System. However, that has not yet been actually implemented because implementing rules and regulations have to be formulated within 16 days from effectivity by the Bureau of Immigration and other relevant government agencies.

This system, Mr. President, will authorize the Bureau of Immigration to obtain advance information from various airlines and carriers about the origin of their individual passengers, their originating flight, their connecting flight, their transit flight and so many other relevant information.

This will serve not only to address security risks but also health risks. So what I am proposing, Mr. President, is that we implement this Advance Passenger Information System immediately. Although, the Bureau of Immigration and other relevant agencies have been given 60 days from effectivity to come up with the implementing rules and regulations, may I suggest that in view of the urgency of the situation, that the period within which to come up with this IRR be shortened in view of the urgency of the situation.

So as soon as the implementing rules and regulations are in place, Mr. President, we can immediately put this into operation and health risks that may be associated with passengers coming from not only the UK, but also from other infected countries, may be properly addressed even before the passenger boards the flight coming to the Philippines.

Thank you, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes, well, that would add a burden to the people from whose country the plane is carrying the passengers. So ‘yung short — you want it shortened?

SEC. GUEVARRA: We just want, well, to direct, if you may, the Bureau of Immigration and the implement — other implementing agencies to come up with the IRR as soon as possible so that we can address this problem immediately because we don’t know if at anytime baka po may makalusot.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: You have an ideal time there?

SEC. GUEVARRA: Well, we can probably shorten it to 20 to 30 days, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Yes, we’ll just go direct to a — to an order.

EXECUTIVE SECRETARY MEDIALDEA: We will coordinate with the agencies concerned.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: The Secretary of — Executive Secretary would order the — will pass on the order that — they shorten it in view of the emergency — the crisis.



Mahirap kasi ‘yung makikita natin tapos wala na tayo, sa 28 pa naman. [26, 27, 28..] Okay pa.

If I can have the pleasure of your presence, I promise you a better meal the next time [laughter] kasi dito, sa totoo lang, sa dito sa Malaca — dito sa — there is only — I serve only one — rice, isang ulam. If you have noticed it: rice, ulam pati sabaw. Pati si Ambassador, lahat ng klase ano ‘yung Secretary of State, si… Ganoon — ganoon, sabi ko sa kanila, we do not serve steaks here because that’s expensive. The people will complain.

So, ako, Jollibee lang siguro ngayon. Walang tao. I’m thinking of — umiikot iyong isip ko kung sino kaya ang mayaya ko mag… Nakikinig pa naman ‘yung — eh nationwide ito.

Madame, ano iyan, ‘yung si mga lalake na… [laughter] Bawal naman ngayon pumasok doon sa ano. Really, there’s nobody. There is nobody. The kitchen is empty because nag-uwi na. So hindi ‘yan sila makabalik kaagad because they have to undergo quarantine so it’s useless to call them.

Iyong mga — mga babae, ganoon rin nagsi-uwian. Kaya ako lang pati ‘yung nars ko ang dalawa kami. Sabi ko na lang sa kanya, “Okay, you treat me and I will treat you. Let us treat each other. Tayo na lang naiwan dito.”

So is there any other thing that we should be talking about or take up? Anything that is not in consonance with the good practices because kung wala na, then I’d like to remind you again, we will meet on the 28th.

Nandito ba sila lahat, Bong, ‘yung mga ano nasa listahan?

So, before we end, I’d like to address myself to the people to the nation that we are indebted by the presence of the following persons who contribute a lot to what we have discussed and we have to improve now.

Si Dr. Marissa Alejandria, then we have Dr. Marc Edsel Ayes, then Dr. Celia Carlos, Dr. Alethea De Guzman, Dr. Rolando Enrique [Domingo], Dr. Nina Gloriani, Dr. Teodoro Herbosa, Dr. Jaime Montoya, ah familiar name Dr. Anna Lisa T. Ong-Lim, Dr. Cynthia Palmes-Saloma, and Dr. Mario Panaligan.

Mga kapatid kong Pilipino, ito iyong mga tao na tumutulong sa akin binasa ko. Huwag ninyo makalimutan baka iyong iba tatakbo ng senador, at least alam na ninyo kung sino iyong mga pangalan. Ulitin ko ulit ito. [laughter]

We have, you know, we have with us in this meeting Filipino doctors who are really concerned with the welfare of their countrymen. They are here to help us out because we are not medical persons. They contribute and we just listen and implement, in more ways than one, their recommendations.

So maraming pasalamat ako sa kanila. And to the kayong lahat mga Pilipino, wala pa namang bakuna kasi.. Mayroon tayong pera, wala ng problema. We have the money, we can buy.Problem is of supply kaya maghintay tayo kasi inuuna nila the countries who manufactured the vaccnes. See to it that ang nauna ‘yung kanila bago tayo, which is natural and that is a natural of human being. Parang ‘yung kadugo niya muna ang mauna, mga anak nila.

So we’ll just wait. Anyway, General Galvez is there at huwag kayong maniwala diyan sa mga ano-ano na mga vaccine coming in. Wala ‘yan. Ang tawag niyan istorya lang ‘yan. [laughter]So maraming salamat sa lahat sa inyo doctors at magandang gabi sa inyong lahat. [applause]


— END —