PRRD: Gov’t is running out of funds; lockdown can no longer be extended

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President Rodrigo Duterte once again admitted on Monday that the government is already “out of money” as response to call of doctors to extend the strict lockdown measures to effectively arrest the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Duterte justifies the need for people to go out to work as he cannot support them with emergency cash aids anymore.

“Alam mo, sa mga doktor, sabihin ko sa inyo. Hindi ko na sila (public) mapigilan, dahil po wala na akong pera na ibigay sa kanila. Kaya kailangan sila lumabas para magtrabaho. I-lockdown ko, ubos na ‘yung pera na ibinigay ng Congress na bigyan kayo ng ayuda. ‘Yung pera panggastos, wala na ako niyan,” the President said.

[To the doctors, I will tell you this. I cannot stop the public because I don’t have any money to give them. That’s why they need to go out of their house to work. If I will place again on lockdown, the funds given by Congress for assistance have been depleted. I don’t have money to spend anymore.]

A total of P66 billion has been distributed by the DSWD to poor families severely affected by the pandemic as part of the ongoing social amelioration program.

Duterte expressed his support to the medical community’s request for longer lockdown to finally arrest the spread of contamination.

“So I’m telling the doctors, as much as I want to give in to your demands, especially in the matter of lockdown… I want it because I don’t want the contamination to continue…it’s a continuing thing,” he said.

The Philippine College of Physicians said last week they are not contented with the imposition of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal effective August 4.

“We understand that imposing ECQ is a complex decision… health may just be one dimension especially for the economic expert, but remember that we need healthy people to reinvigorate our economy,” said Dr. Maricar Limpin, vice president of the PCP.

Researchers also said the two-week MECQ is not enough to significantly lower the rapidly increasing cases in the country.

Last August 2, Duterte responded to the appeal of medical frontliners for a “timeout” due to the overwhelming state of the country’s health system amid rising COVID-19 infections.

On Monday around 6,958 new COVID-19 infections was recorded in a day, a record-high in the number of cases recorded in a single day. This brings the total count to 136,638.

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