“Let Us Help One Another” - PRRD

The country has now moved from the MECQ to GCQ, and MGCQ in other areas. In an address from PRRD, May 28, reports were given by various governmental agencies along with a plea from the President that everyone should help one another in this time of crisis.

PRRD in a Thursday night address, May 28, updated the nation regarding the community quarantine status for different areas in the Philippines due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Capital Region (NCR) will now be placed under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) starting June 1. Davao City along with Region II, III, IV-A, Pangasinan, and Albay will remain under GCQ and other areas currently under GCQ will be under Modified GCQ.

PRRD encouraged schools to provide flexible and staggered payment options for incoming students this school year, and for families who do not have the capacity to pay at all, PRRD stated that Landbank will be opened for loans to finance the education of children from impoverished families.

For the assistance of the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), Malacañang is coordinating with all government agencies on how they could provide help. PRRD reiterated that the mishaps that occurred during the repatriation of the OFWs shall not be repeated – this pandemic serving as a lesson for every government agency.

PRRD also appealed to lessors – homeowners, malls, bazaars, etc. – to be more considerate on rent payments as lessees are not earning anymore, “let us help one another” the President urged.

Moving to the new normal, PRRD advised everyone to comply with the given health standards as violators would be held by state forces for the protection of everyone, “the State has the right to come in and put a stop on it”, PRRD said.

Unto Department of Education Secretary (DepEd), Sec Leonor stated that “there will be no face-to-face classes and sessions until we are assured of the safety of our children and teachers. However, we also believe, Mr. President, that we can provide learning opportunities to our students without necessarily requiring them to go to school. And this we can do to what is described as blended and distance learning” – consistent with the idea that children must not be physically sent to schools.

With the Department of Health (DOH), Secretary Francisco Duque updated the nation regarding the current updates on the COVID-19 cases and assured the nation that the health system’s capacity is enough with more than 60% reserve capacity.

On the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Secretary Arthur Tugade insisted that in the transition of the country to the new normal, DOTr is one with other agencies to ensure that the spread of COVID-19 is contained.

After the posted updates of Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., PRRD tackled again the issues on the OFWs that were denied entry from their localities and mentioned that “there is no reason why you should not accept them with open arms”. PRRD also made it clear that ordinary citizens do not have to spend money in case of hospitalization due to COVID-19. If one is sick, citizens must go to the hospitals and charge the government for their needs, the President reiterated.

Regarding Peace and Order, Secretary Eduardo Año of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) reported that in the period of the Community Quarantine, criminality went down by around 60%.

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary, Delfin Lorenzana, updated the country regarding the status of OFW repatriation and the ways and procedures to which the safety of everyone is ensured along with the emotional need of the OFWs to be close to their family members.

With the President concluding his speech, PRRD emphasized how everything that the government is doing right now is for the welfare of the citizens of the Republic. He advised everyone not to believe the false claims regarding corruption on the DOH’s procurement of equipment. He pledged that everything that went down was with the approval of the Office of the President and that there is no corruption involved as he advised the departments and government agencies to manage the fund well.