President Duterte thanks Congress for its critical support in battling pandemic


MANILA, Feb. 10 — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has expressed his gratitude to the members of Congress for assisting his administration tackle the coronavirus pandemic noting the passage of necessary measures help aid the country recover from the current crisis.

“I also would like to thank the Congress of the Republic of the Philippines for understanding us and giving us the support — the critical support that we badly need to discharge our duties,” he said in a televised address Monday night.

“Wala akong masabi diyan sa — in a matter of ‘yung pagtulong sa COVID problem. That is why in fairness sa Congress naman na pera man kasi ito ng tao, they appropriate, they give us the money that, we, dito sa implementing arm ng government, the Executive department, the ones doing the actual work.”

A bill seeking a third installment of the Bayanihan Law was proposed by lawmakers at the lower house. The proposal aims to provide a P420-billion fund to aid the country’s economy recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the government embarks on massive expenditure program, President Duterte said, “my demand would really be just to follow the rules laid down by government,” to prevent corruption.

“Lahat na dito ngayon may rules, from the accounting up to the time of the procurement and the distribution and, of course, the implementation of the mandate, sundin lang ho ninyo, including the local governments. Just follow the rules and we will be happy, lahat tayo. Sundin lang ninyo para walang problema,” he stressed.

Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. also thanked Congress for its support particularly with the new proposal for the passage of the Bayanihan III.

“Iyong mga kailangan po natin na mga law na maipasa para matulungan po tayo na mapabilis po ‘yung pagpunta po dito ng vaccine,” said Galvez, who is also the chief implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19.

Galvez said the law is important because it covers Indemnification Fund, tax-free importation and Custom duties to speed up vaccine delivery and transport.

“Para po mabilis po ‘yung pag-transport po ng ating vaccine from the airport na wala na po talagang Customs inspection,” he said. (PND)