As the country remains on the first wave of transmission, Duterte admitted it would be difficult to deal with a sharp surge in infections due to the government’s limited funds.
“We have to be very circumspect in the opening of the economy. It must be gradual. If ever there is going to be a spike again, or reinfected, at least calibrated numbers of people allowed to go out will still be at manageable numbers,” the President said.
“Because if we open the entire Philippines and thousands upon thousands of cases would happen then. We are in d**p s**t. We will have difficulty. First off, we don’t have money,” he added.
In a speech aired early Wednesday, July 8, President Duterte said the Philippines could not afford to follow the lead of other countries that experienced a “relapse” of coronavirus transmission when they reopened their economy following months of strict lockdown measures.
“Although they opened their economy for money to come into the government’s coffers, ang nangyari there was a spike, they have a problem of almost a relapse… That’s difficult,” he said.
“We are poor. We cannot afford really a total epidemic or pandemonium. We are poor, we cannot gamble,” he said.
At present, Duterte said the country remains on the first wave of the coronavirus transmission. “Have we arrived at the second wave? I don’t think so. We are still grappling with the first wave,” he added.