Remember when President Rodrigo Duterte said “Kung wala kayo [alcohol]—if you want to disinfect, maghanap ka ng gasolina” last week and how the Department of Health (DOH) played it down as a joke?
“Dito naman sa sinabi ni president, he’s mentioning, really, the reusable na mga face mask katulad ng cloth mask. Alam niyo naman ’pag nagsasalita si presidente, baka iyong mga jokes lang niya iyon, especially for gasoline,” DOH’s Maria Rosario Vergeire said.
But in a new address today, July 31, Duterte reiterated “Just to disinfect, ang akala naman ng mga buang ’to, para sa inyong hindi nakakaintindi, hindi ako nagbibiro, totohanan ’yun, kung walang iba anong gawin ninyo, anything that would kill germs.”
NCR remains under GCQ
In the same speech aired at 9 a.m., Duterte announced that the National Capital Region along with Bulacan, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal will remain under general community quarantine (GCQ). Meanwhile, Cebu City has been downgraded to GCQ from enhanced community quarantine. The rest of the country will be under modified GCQ.
Vaccine is within reach—except for drug addicts
The president also shared news about the progress of COVID-19 vaccines being developed around the world including in China, where he assured we are a priority since we “remained friendly with China.”
He said the first to get the vaccine once it’s available will be the 20 million residents considered poorest of the poor along with hospitals. The middle class will be second priority while drug pushers and drug addicts will receive none more than blank placebos because he considers them dogs.
He, however, will give consideration for members of the New People’s Army, who, according to him can line up because “they are Filipinos and this is Filipinos’ money”—as long as they leave his soldiers alone.
According to the Department of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, we can afford said vaccines, which is estimated to cost $10 per dose or approximately P500.
“We will use the Philippine International Trading Corporation under the Department of Trade and Industry to purchase. We will vaccinate the poorest of the poor. The DOH will put in its budget the $400M or P20B. We can pay that over two to three years. Finance through Landbank and the Development Bank of the Philippines,” said Dominguez.
Header photo courtesy of PTV and PCOO
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Writer: CHRISTIAN SAN JOSE