‘Wala na akong pera’: Duterte admits struggle to balance health, economic costs of coronavirus
By Prince Golez
The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic makes it difficult for President Rodrigo Duterte to find the balance between public health and reviving the economy.
Duterte admitted late Monday that government funds allotted for the affected populations had been “depleted.”
“Ito ang dilemma ko, dito ako between the devil and the deep blue sea. Gusto ng mga doktor na i-lockdown kung may mga infected diyan. The percentage of the people affected in the community is not given any figure kung ilan sila,” the Chief Executive said during a public address.
“Ito namang sa kabila, kailangan natin nang palabasin ‘yung mga tao lalo na sa mga trabaho na kailangan talaga ng bayan — food and everything — and also to move the economy,” he said.
“Hindi ko na talaga rin silang mapigilan dahil po wala na akong pera na ibigay sa kanila kaya kailangan sila lumabas para magtrabaho. Iyan ang ano ko. I-lockdown ko, ubos na ‘yung pera na binigay ng Congress. Nabigyan kayo ng ayuda, ‘yung pera panggastos. Wala na ako niyan,” he added.
Last August 1, medical frontliners appealed for a two-week “timeout” as healthcare systems were being overwhelmed by rising Covid-19 infections.
In response, Duterte placed Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal under modified enhanced community quarantine for 15 days, heeding the health workers’ plea.