Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano is claiming that the death toll and infection rate in the Philippines could have been catastrophic if President Rodrigo Duterte did not act swiftly and decisively to contain the pandemic.
“So we face the nation today, tayo ba bilang mga Pilipino, willing ba tayo na magkasakit ang 30 million Filipinos?…So, kung tingin niyo, nagbibiro kami dito, or if you think that we care about politics at this point in time, you’re very, very much mistaken,” said Cayetano who did not disclose the medical expert who gave him his nightmarish scenario.
*We only care about how our people can survive this period.* Ang nakakatawa pa kasi, ‘yung mga nagsasabing namumulitika, kayo namumulitika,” he added.
Cayetano said it was time for Filipinos to decide if the country was in a national emergency or not as he stressed the catastrophe the Philippines was facing was infinitely bigger than a flood, typhoon or fire. “We were shocked and we are still grieving for Yolanda. We were shocked of the disruption in Marawi and we’re still grieving, and we’re still finding ways how to build Marawi. But this is much, much more than that,” said Cayetano.
“More than ever now, if the government doesn’t do anything, people will die. If we do not study the medical science, if we do not listen to the doctors and the scientists, people will die. But the President acted. And more people will die, unless we all understand why,” he added.
Based on the bill approved by Congess, the President’s game plan was to declare a national emergency for at least two months and get powers to raise funds to give incentives for millions of Filipinos to stay home (P8,000 per month to each of the 18 million indigent Filipinos) and strengthen the country’s medical infrastructure by building more medical facilities and quarters for frontline workers as well as purchase medical supplies.
“Why stay home? Because staying home will save lives. Mape-prevent ang
hawaan. ‘Pag may sintomas, mas madaling mag-isolate. Pagka ‘yung
sintomas ay grabe, dalhin na sa ospital. The hospital can test and the
hospital can isolate, although puno na. So, all of this is giving us
time to help na hindi mag-collapse ang ating health care system. But
the problem is, kung nagko-collapse ang finances ng ating kababayan,
they cannot stay home,” said Cayetano.
“So, we have to pass this law, so, that we can deliver, at the very least, five to eight thousand pesos to each and every family in the Philippines—the 18 million that need it most* Is this enough? It’s never enough. I mean, who can live on five or eight thousand, but survival po ang pinag-uusapan natin dito,” he added.
If we listen to the bashers, critics, mga pilosopo, you know, who wants us to define what’s the difference between emergency powers, stand-by powers, special powers, special authority, I mean, ‘wag na tayo mamilosopo, e. *May emergency, kailangan ng powers ng Presidente.* E kung pipilosopohin niyo ‘ko, pilosopo din ako. Kailangan ng stand-by powers, kasi maraming stand-by sa kalye. Kailangan nila bumalik sa mga bahay nila, so bigyan ng power ang ating pangulo.