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Prez Duterte says no shift to MGCQ sans vaccine rollout

Gemma Roxas, 57, wearing a protective mask for protection against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), queues for a general check-up at a local health center in Manila, Philippines January 26, 2021. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

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.”

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.

READ: “Naiinip na” Prez Duterte cannot wait for the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines

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