President Duterte assured Filipinos, especially the poor, that they will not be left behind in what he said is the fight not just against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), but also against hopelessness.
Duterte made the statement as he ordered government agencies to launch a mobile vaccination for informal settlers during his weekly public address on Monday evening. In his speech, the President asked the public not to lose hope amid the prolonged lockdown.
“Do not despair. Kaya natin ito COVID na ito (We can beat COVID-19),” he said.
“Maliit na bagay ito sa buhay natin. Marami tayong dinaanan mas grabe, mas mahirap (This is just a small thing in our lives. We have been through situations that are more challenging and more difficult),” he added.
Duterte assured the people they will not be left behind in the fight against COVID-19, particularly in the vaccination program.
“Huwag kayong matakot at hindi ko kayo iiwanan (Do not be afraid, I will not leave anyone behind),” he said.
The President said all government agencies must contribute to make the vaccination program a success.
“Kung lima, anim, pito okay na ‘yon. At least meron tayong sasakyan (Even if we just have five, six, or seven vehicles at least we have some that we can use). We will use all government assets. Lahat (everything),” Duterte said.
“We must contribute and the other departments must take note of this. You have to contribute. This is a fight not only against the COVID but against your despair and hopelessness,” he added.
The Philippines marked its first year in lockdown on March 15. To date, the country has reported 626,893 COVID-19 cases, 12,837 of whom died while 560,577 recovered.