President Duterte said that he will order the total reopening of the economy if he sees that the country has already acquired 40 million doses of coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines.
Duterte made the statement as the country starts the vaccination program against COVID-19 following the arrival of 600,000 doses of CoronaVac shots donated by the Chinese government on Sunday, February 28.
In a press conference after the arrival ceremony of the vaccines, President Duterte said that he will remove the restrictions once he sees that the Philippines already has many vaccines available to the people.
“Kung makita ko na marami nang vaccine, open ko na lahat, wala na. Tanggalin ko na ‘yan (If I see that we have many vaccines, I will open everything. I will remove the restrictions),” he said.
“Kung maka-hit tayo ng 40 million o nandiyan na ‘yong vaccine, maski mag — mayroon tayong mga 20, 30, buksan ko na. Buksan ko na dahil sa economy (If we are able to hit 40 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, even just 20 million or 30 million, I will open the economy),” he added.
‘2 million doses for NCR’s shift to MGCQ’
President Duterte also bared that he is considering approving the shift of the National Capital Region (NCR) to the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) once the country obtains 2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
“We will have a million by this month. Magkaroon lang tayo ng stock ng 2 million, bitawan ko na (Once we have 2 million doses in stock, I ease the restrictions). I will open the economy. Talagang hirap tayo (We’re really having a difficult time now),” he said.
“I am considering it actually… Buksan ko na (I will reopen the economy) because there are two things that are really bugging us: it’s the economy and COVID-19,” he added.
According to the President, the country’s economy has really suffered due to the pandemic.
“Our economy is really down, as in down. So the earlier na mabilisan itong (we can start the) [vaccination], the better,” he said.
The country will start its vaccination program on Monday, March 1.