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    WATCH: Duterte addresses the public March 30 on COVID-19 crisis

    MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte addressed the public anew Monday, March 30 for new measures and updates for the country's fight against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

    President Rodrigo Roa Duterte updates the nation on the government’s efforts in addressing the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on March 30, 2020. 

    The televised address was tentatively scheduled at 4:00 p.m. but was delayed and broadcasted before midnight due to conflict with another meeting.

    With the special powers given by the Congress through the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (Republic Act 11469), declaring a state of national emergency due to COVID-19 pandemic, the president needs to submit his report every Monday of the week for all the acts performed, which includes the amount and corresponding utilization of the funds used, augmented, reprogrammed, reallocated and realigned.

    "I expect to receive a report on [the] distribution of financial aid to the 18 million families of the informal sector, mass testing specially in urban areas, [and] prioritization of the safety and welfare of the frontline health workers," Senate President Vicente Sotto III told reporters.

    In his speech, Duterte assured the public that the government will do everything in its capacity to address the COVID-19 situation.

    "Ito ho ang garantiya ko: Ginagawa namin ang lahat ng makakaya namin," the president expressed.

    He also expressed his utmost gratitude to the frontliners as well as to all of those who have extended aid to our country.

    The Chief Executive also said that the government is now launching its largest and most extensive social protection program to date.

    WATCH: President Rodrigo Duterte's announcement (March 30, 2020)


    On Saturday, March 28, the president celebrated his 75th birthday away from his home and on self-quaratine at Malacañang's Bahay Pagbabago.

    Senator Bong Go said Duterte is not experiencing any symptoms and is in good health and will be on home quarantine until April 7.

    “Gayunpaman, patuloy pa rin niyang tinututukan ang sitwasyon ng bansa at nagbibigay ng importanteng mga utos sa mga opisyal ng gobyerno,” Go said.

    Duterte, the oldest to be elected Philippine President, earlier tested negative for the virus, which is known to severely affect the elderly.

    As of March 29, the total COVID-19 cases in the Philippines surged to 1,418 with 343 new cases. This was the largest single-day increase of the contracted individuals in the country so far. Meanwhile, death toll now at 71 and total recoveries rose to 42.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that more than 600,000 were infected globally, with death toll nearly 30,000.

    — The Summit Express

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