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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

PHOTO BY ARCHIVE


Philippine president Duterte donates salary for Covid-19 funds

 

MANILA – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is donating his one-month salary to raise the government’s emergency funds in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Philippine government announced on Sunday (April 5).

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that most members of the Cabinet have also pledged to cut 75 percent of their monthly salaries from April to December to help in the government fight against Covid-19.

Cabinet secretaries have also volunteered a salary deduction during the coronavirus pandemic, Panelo added.

The Philippines has raised P275 billion in emergency funds to help the country deal with the wide-ranging impact of Covid-19 on healthcare and the economy.

On March 8, the Philippines was placed under a state of public health emergency to curb the spread of the new coronavirus. The island of Luzon is currently under enhanced community quarantine, which is set to expire on April 12.

Possible extension of quarantine

Meanwhile, Duterte will decide whether he will approve of a possible two-week extension of the enhanced community quarantine “in due time”, Panelo said.

The presidential spokesman acknowledged the “emerging consensus” from medical experts, businessmen, government officials, and others that the extension is necessary since lifting it could be “premature.”

He said the President recognizes that lifting the quarantine as scheduled on April 12 “might wipe out the gains we have so far achieved in containing the virus.”

“The President is all ears and eyes on this unfolding reality and expert opinions. He is evaluating the best option to take that will effectively ensure the success of our war against this wily and faceless global enemy. He will make his decision in due time,” he said in a statement.

He also urged Filipinos to cooperate with government efforts against Covid-19. “We call on our countrymen to be steadfast in our commitment to take care of each other in this imminent threat to our nation’s survival,” he said.

Peace Adviser and National Task Force Covid-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier said the government is currently studying whether to extend the quarantine for another 15 to 20 days after its scheduled end on April 12. DAJ/Expat Media


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