MANILA, Philippines – Amid the country’s ongoing problems regarding COVID-19, President Rodrigo Duterte said life is more important than anything else.
In his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA), the President said he gave more priority to life than other experts say.
“When the pandemic struck, I decided to prioritize life over other considerations according to experts,” said Duterte.
The President immediately thanked the frontliners who opposed COVID-19.
The President also mentioned that the government is mourning the families of those killed by the virus.
“We share the griefs of their families and no amount of tears can compensate for their great losses,” Duterte said.
According to him, the country is in turmoil right now because of the virus that caused the dream of development to stop.
It is also said that the rich and the poor are not exempted from the virus.
Duterte expressed hope that the vaccine will be discovered soon.
The President also clarified that he will still not allow face-to-face classes of students until the vaccine is discovered.
Duterte also revealed that he spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping regarding COVID-19 four days ago and appealed that if China has a vaccine, give the Philippines first.
Meanwhile, the President appealed to Congress to pass Bayanihan to Recover As One as they did in passing the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
Duterte also said that due to government actions, up to 1.3 million to 3.5 million people have been infected.
But the President also admitted that the government has difficulty in implementing the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) while warning the opportunists who have slowed down the implementation of the program.
He is also investigating the DSWD and DILG for the complaint of some drivers who did not receive any assistance from the government.
Duterte also thanked the local government units (LGUs) for their own action to fight COVID-19.