'Wrong mindset': Marcos 'very hesitant' to extend state of calamity due to Covid-19

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. is "very hesitant" to extend the state calamity due to Covid-19, saying "it's the wrong mindset" going into the new year.

President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. (Malacañang Photo)

"I’m still very, very hesitant to continue the state of calamity, to extend it because again we are not in a state of calamity anymore, technically speaking," Marcos said on Thursday, Dec. 29.

"And that is the wrong mindset to be approaching the new year with," he added.

He further said that the "main issue" is providing the healthcare workers their benefits.

"So we’re still trying to find ways to continue to provide the benefits to our medical health workers which is the main issue without the state of calamity," he said.

The President, who will proceed with his state visit to China next week despite the Covid-19 surge there, also said that the Philippines may impose testing requirements on travelers from China as long as it is based on science and there is a need to do so.

“Yes, well we --- as long as it’s based on science and we feel that there’s a need, we will do it. But again, it depends on what the true risk is to us,” the President said when asked if there will be additional testing restrictions on travelers from China.

“Kung naman (If) it’s something that is manageable, then I’m sure we can find a way to --- not completely close our borders to China, but to find a way to have a procedure so that those coming from China who may have been exposed or who may have been infected will be tested and yun lang naman ang ating inaalala (that's our only concern),” the President stressed.

American federal health officials announced Wednesday that the United States will require all travelers from China to show a negative Covid-19 test result before boarding flights for the U.S., citing concerns about a surge of coronavirus infections in China and its alleged lack of transparency amid the recent outbreak.

All travelers departing from China, Hong Kong, and Macau who are over two years old, including American citizens, are covered by the new rules regardless of vaccination status.

Marcos will be in China from Jan. 3 to 5. The entire Philippine delegation will be in a "bubble" arrangement.