Duterte thanks private sector for 'tremendous assistance' in fight vs COVID-19

Published May 14, 2021, 8:59 AM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

President Duterte has expressed his gratitude to the private sector for their “tremendous assistance” to the government as the country continued to grapple with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

President Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with core members of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Malacañang Golf Clubhouse in Malacañang on May 13, 2021. ROBINSON NIÑAL/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

In his pre-recorded public address on Thursday evening, May 13, Duterte recognized the role of the private sector and hoped that they will not get tired of assisting the government.

“Let me thank the private sector for the tremendous assistance and help to [the] government. Maraming salamat po sa inyo (Thank you very much),” he said.

“I hope that you would continue, this is our country, you are doing business here,” he added.

The President said that once the crisis is over, the private sector will reap what it sowed.

“If we can go out of this thing and balik tayo sa ekonomiya natin, marami tayong ma — marami tayong pera kasi balik na naman sa negosyo (and we are able to revive our economy, we will have more money that will eventually go to different businesses),” he said.

“Kaya ‘yong tulong ninyo kinakailangan namin at salamat naman (That’s why we are in need of your help and I thank you for that),” he added.

Last month, Presidential Adviser on Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said that the private sector has donated a total of 6,594,482 COVID-19 shots to the government through the A Dose of Hope (ADOH) program, where 1,004 companies in the country have participated.

Concepcion, however, appealed to the Department of Health (DOH) and the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) to give the private sector flexibility when it comes to their vaccination plan.

Lawmakers agreed with Concepcion and highlighted the need for easing the restrictions for the subcategories of the A4 priority list and the need for being proactive in terms of who to vaccinate when the bulk of the vaccine supply comes.

“The private sector has gone over and beyond corporate social responsibility when they donated half of their vaccine procurement to the government,” Deputy Speaker Wes Gatchalian had said.

In March this year, President Duterte allowed the private sector to bring in any number of COVID-19 vaccines in the country “at will,” as he recognized the very limited number of shots that the government is able to import.