President Rodrigo Duterte decided to stay in Manila to supervise the government actions against the COVID-19.
According to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, Duterte rejected the request of his partner Honeylet Avanceña to go home to Davao City before the community quarantine of the National Capital Region (NCR) on March 15 started.
Panelo said that Duterte decided to stay in Malacañang to participate in daily cabinet meetings to assess the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Yes, he announced it last night that his wife wanted him to fly back (to Davao) but he said ‘no, the face of the country is Manila and the President had to be here so I’ll be here,'” Panelo told ANC in an interview.
The President, according to Panelo is already expecting a “spike” in cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines, that’s why they decided to implement strict rules to prevent the virus from spreading.
Panelo said that the COVID-19 is a serious issue that’s why he’s asking the people to cooperate with the government.
“All we have to do really si observe protocols, personal hygiene, keep washing your hands… distance yourself from the person near you. That’s a very simple task to do.” said Panelo.
On Thursday, President Duterte announced that he’s going to put Metro Manila under ‘community quarantine’ from March 15, to April 14.
12.8-M people of Metro Manila could be affected by the said quarantine.
Even broadcaster Karen Davila who seems confused about the resolution asked if President Duterte is also not allowed to leave Manila once the community quarantine started.
“The President means well. My question is by imposing a domestic travel lockdown in Metro Manila for 1 month, it means he also can’t go back to Davao?” Davila asked.
However, Cabinet Secretary Carlo Nograles clarified that people residing outside Metro Manila are still allowed to enter and leave NCR every day as long as they’re going to prove that they’re really working there.
Nograles also said that certain government officials are exempted from the domestic travel ban.