By Genalyn Kabiling
Bayanihan and prayers — these are the two requests of President Duterte to the public after declaring an enhanced community quarantine in Luzon to effectively combat the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The President has rallied Luzon residents to cooperate with the government’s quarantine measure, help their neighbors who are most affected by the stay-at-home policy, and pray to defeat the invisible enemy.
“To the private sector, I have this appeal: Magbayanihan kayo (Let’s help each other),” he said during his public address
“While the government is doing its best, we can more effectively contain the spread of the virus if we adopt a united approach,” he added.
Duterte asked the private sector, particularly business leaders, to help ease the burden of the people by advancing a pro-rated 13th month pay, offering moratorium on rental fees, reprieve in utility bills, and assistance to small business.
“To the industry players, business leaders, foundations and the like, I would like to join hands with you and combine our efforts in fighting COVID-19 as one nation, as one people,” he said.
As Luzon is placed under community quarantine to fight the coronavirus, Duterte likewise called for prayers for the health workers, the government, and the entire country. While social distancing is observed, he said Filipinos must remain “united in spirit” to combat the disease.
“I solemnly urge everyone to pray to the Almighty God, who has the power to defeat every enemy, visible or invisible. Pray for all doctors and health professionals and workers, pray for your government, pray for the country,” he said.
“Even as we maintain physical distance from each other, let us remain [strongly] united in spirit to fight this dreaded disease. And with our unity and the blessing of God, we shall overcome,” he said.
The President has placed the main island of Luzon under enhanced community quarantine that calls for strict home quarantine, suspends public transportation, and forces companies to allow workers to work from home, among others.
He has assured the public there was no martial law and that there would be sufficient food supply during the quarantine period.