President Rodrigo Duterte is appealing to bilyonaryos to dig deeper into their pockets because his administration does not have enough financial resources to keep millions of Filipinos locked down while the economy has ground to a halt.
“May I address myself to the people who have the money now to help pati ‘yung mga employers,” said Duterte in a late night address Monday night..
“Alam mo, tulungan ninyo ang — ang gobyerno — ang bayan natin. Kasi pagka bumagsak ang gobyerno, bagsak kayong lahat,” he added.
A number of bilyonaryos and top corporations have stepped up their philanthropy since the start of the lockdown by donatings billions of pesos to buy food packs and medical suppliers to help indigent and low-income Filipinos while addressing the concerns of their own employees and business partners.
But Duterte said the P270 billion he has initially budgeted under the national emergency was not enough to bankroll the food and other basic needs of Filipinos during the lockdown which could be extended to April 30 or longer.
“Ang hinihingi ko sa inyo, ‘yung panawagan ko: Be patient at intindihin ninyo kami sa gobyerno. We would appreciate it…‘wag kayong masyado. Tutal kung sabihin ko na talaga na wala na, wala na
akong magawa, then magplano ka na kung anong gusto mong gawin,” said Duterte. “When the resources are all exhausted and the pandemic would claim millions of lives — I hope really and I pray that it will not — pero kung ganon, wala na akong magawa. Malapit na. Ilang buwan lang ang reserba natin,” he added.