Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that for people like him who have health conditions, gyms are absolutely essential and must be reopened.
Roque had this to say in a virtual press briefing Monday, Sept. 27, or just three days before a possible change in the National Capital Region's (NCR) status under the prevailing alert level system (ALS).
The Palace official bared that he was diabetic and had a heart condition.
"Essential po talaga ang gym lalung lalo na doon sa mga mayroon nang karamdaman gaya ng diabetes. Ever since sarado po ang gym, hindi na po naging normal ang aking blood sugar (Gyms are really essential especially to those with conditioms like diabetes. Ever since gyms were closed, my blood sugar level has never been normal). It's now always in excess of 200," he said.
"Dahil noong mga panahon pong bukas ang gym, five times a week po ako, doon ko lang po mapapanatiling normal ang aking blood sugar (Back then when gyms were open, I was there five times a week, and I was able to maintain normal blood sugar)," noted Roque.
"Talagang absolutely indispensable po ang gym (Gyms are truly indispensable)," stressed the spokesperson, who earlier this month admitted that he had weight issues.
For Roque, non-gym assisted exercises like running and swimming aren't as accessible or practical compared to limbering up in the gym.
"Ang problema po, hindi naman po ako pwedeng tumakbo dahil masyadong malaki, masama po sa ankles. Talagang hindi rin naman po ako pwedeng mag-swimming din, bawal din po amg swimming (The problem is, I can't run because I'm too big, it's bag for the ankles. And I really can't go swimming, it's prohibited)," he said.
NCR or Metro Manila is currently under alert level 4, where gyms are among the establishments prohibited from operating.
But the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) says this might change after Sept. 30, or the end of the pilot testing of the ALS.
The ALS replaced the region-wide community quarantine classifications in connection with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic as far as NCR is concerned.