Duterte: We will overcome COVID-19 pandemic

Published November 29, 2021, 3:24 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

President Duterte expressed confidence that the Philippines will be able to overcome the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and come out as a stronger nation despite the threat of the new highly mutated Omicron variant.

President Duterte kicks off ‘Bayanihan Bakunahan” in Antipolo City, Rizal on November 29, 2021. ‘Bayanihan, Bakunahan’ is a three-day nationwide vaccination drive that aims to inoculate 9 million individuals across 8,000 sites in the Philippines. (RTVM Screenshot)

Duterte made the statement as he kicked off the “Bayanihan, Bakunahan” program, the government’s three-day nationwide simultaneous vaccination effort from November 29 to December 1.

In his speech, the President said the country can overcome the pandemic which has plagued the world for almost two years.

“With God’s abiding grace, and with our genuine malasakit (concern) for our fellow Filipinos, we will overcome this pandemic and come out stronger and better as a nation,” he said.

Meanwhile, Duterte urged the public to continue following health protocols like the wearing of face masks, handwashing, and physical distancing to prevent the spread of the virus.

“I call on every Filipino for your continued cooperation in fighting against COVID-19 by getting vaccinated and continuing to follow our minimum public health standards,” he said.

“It is very important to us to take a whole-of-nation approach to win against coronavirus that has sorely plagued our country for almost two years,” he added.

Meanwhile, the President thanked national government agencies and local governments along with private partners for coming up with the nationwide vaccination drive.

“This multi-sectoral event is a resounding expression of our Bayanihan spirit which coincides with the nation’s observance of Bonifacio Day on November 30. Indeed, the heroic example of Gat Andres Bonifacio’s courage resonates in each of us as we work together to fast track and intensify our efforts to overcome this pandemic,” he said.

The “Bayanihan Bakunahan” aims to vaccinate around 9 million individuals in 8,000 sites across 16 regions nationwide. It is the country’s biggest push to fast-track vaccination and to reach the target of 70 percent population protection nationwide.

The government expects to fully vaccinate a total of 54 million Filipino by the end of 2021, and it aims to inoculate 80 percent of the population of minors aged 12 to 17 years and complete the booster shots for those belonging to A1 (health workers, local chief executives, and outgoing overseas Filipino workers), A2 (senior citizens), and A3 sectors (persons with comorbidities).