President Rodrigo Duterte appealed to the public to continue to observe the prescribed health and safety protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 but admitted that social distancing is difficult to enforce in densely populated urban areas of the country.
At the very least masks and shields should be worn for maximum protection, the president said in his speech at the inauguration of various projects at the Dumaguete-Sibulan Airport Thursday afternoon, March 11.
How can social distancing be enforced in places like Quiapo and on buses, when there are so many Filipinos crammed in urban areas, he said.
“This is because we have not been able to implement the family planning program,” Duterte said.
“I remember, it was only president (Fidel) Ramos who was a Protestant who really insisted on family planning, I am the second,” he said.
“Ayaw ng simbahan eh kaya collision course talaga (the Church does not want, so it’s a collision course,” he said, but added that it is not because he wants to fight the Church.
The Philippines has 110 million people now and is the second fastest in terms of an increase in population, he said.
It is high time this is reviewed, he said.
We should match the family planning programs of our government with our GDP, he said.
The president, in his speech at the inauguration of a Ports Operation Building in Dumaguete City, said prior to the completion of the national vaccination program “increased mobility must be done with utmost caution and responsibility.”
But “the economy must be opened in a short while,” he also said, that is why COVID-19 vaccination must be hastened.
The economy has to be reopened because people are hungry, they have to work to survive, he stressed.*