President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has no plans to shift the entire Philippines to the most lenient quarantine status while there is still no COVID-19 vaccine rollout, Malacañang said Monday.
“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte gave his directive to the Cabinet that the Philippines would not be placed under modified general community quarantine unless there is a rollout of vaccines,” Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement.
“The Chief Executive recognizes the importance of re-opening the economy and its impact on people’s livelihoods. However, the President gives higher premium to public health and safety,” he added.
Roque said Duterte wanted vaccination against COVID-19 to start at “the soonest possible time in order to ease the community quarantine.”
FLASH: Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte, nagdesisyon na: no vaccine rollout, no MGCQ muna.
— DZRH NEWS (@dzrhnews) February 22, 2021
Duterte’s former aide, Senator Christopher ‘Bong’ Go, said Duterte believed that MGCQ was not in the “best interest of the country.”
“No vaccine rollout, no MGCQ muna -PRRD,” Go said in a message to reporters.
Go also added that the President also told Education Secretary Leonor Briones that he is not ready to allow the resumption of in-person classes.
Earlier, Malacanang revealed that even Duterte himself is growing impatient with the delays in the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines.