Tells governors, mayors that this is “part of effort to bring us back to normal”
Screenshot of Philippine President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., delivering his message virtually to address newly elected governors and mayors on Friday night, July 8, 2022 (Screenshot of Malacanang video/Courtesy Malacanang)
(Eagle News) – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., pushed for massive COVID-19 vaccine booster rollout so the country could return to “normal” with businesses thriving again.
In his message to local government officials delivered virtually, Marcos Jr., who is still under a strict seven day isolation period after contracting COVID-19, said the massive booster rollout would ensure the country would not go back to a “lockdown” strategy.
-Optional wearing of face mask possible with successful booster rollout-
A successful booster rollout could also mean making the wearing of face masks optional, as well as the lowering of current COVID-19 alert levels in the country , he said.
“So let us return to the idea of what we did last year na magkaroon ulit ng vaccine rollout. Gawin na natin ito para makatiyak na tayo. At pagka maging matagumpay ang ating booster rollout ay makikita naman natin siguro puwede na nating ibaba ang mga alert level, puwede na nating gawing optional ang mask,” the President told the newly elected local chief executives over the weekend.
But Marcos stressed that the country would not implement the lowering of alert levels, nor implement an optional face mask policy unless the situation is truly safe. Doing so could lead to higher hospital admissions for Covid-19.
“Pero hindi po natin gagawin ‘yan hanggang maliwanag na maliwanag na safe na talaga. Dahil although so far maganda naman ang takbo, hindi naman napupuno ang mga ospital. Ngunit kung hindi tayo maingat, mapupunta na naman tayo doon,” he said during his online speech.
“But I hope that you will be part of the effort that we have to bring us back to normal. This is really part of the effort to bring us back to normal,” he told the governors and mayors.
-Addressing increase of highly infectious Omicron subvariants-
President Marcos said that a massive booster rollout would address the presence of more Omicron variant cases, especially the new more highly infectious subvariants. He reiterated that no one wants government to resort to lockdowns again.
He said this was also key to the further opening up of the economy.
“Gawin natin itong booster rollout at makakatiyak tayo wala ng lockdown at ayaw na ayaw na naming magkaroon ng lockdown,” he said.
“Kaya’t ito naman ang magiging pang-counter natin diyan sa pagkalat na naman nitong Omicron and its variants para pagkalat niyan ‘yung booster will be the one that will be the answer for us na makabalik na tuloy-tuloy makabalik na sa opening of our society, opening of our economy, opening of our businesses. Iyon naman talaga naman ang habol nating lahat.”
Marcos Jr., said he also supports the Department of Education’s plan to hold 100 percent face-to-face classes by November.
The Philippines had a recent surge in Covid-19 cases due to the presence of the more highly infectious Omicron subvariants BA.5, BA.2.12.1, and BA.4.
(Eagle News Service)