President Rodrigo Duterte will continue to deliver his weekly public address despite the implementation of month-long nationwide community quarantine, Malacañang said on Tuesday.
In a virtual press conference aired on state-run PTV-4, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte would always find time addressing the nation every week to keep them updated about the government’s continuing fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“Tuluy-tuloy po ang weekly public address ni Presidente (The President’s weekly public address will push continue),” Roque said.
Roque’s assurance came after the duration of quarantine classifications in the country has been extended to one month from the previous two weeks.
He gave the guarantee amid speculation on Duterte’s health condition.
On Aug. 27, Roque said Malacañang is considering airing Duterte’s speeches live to allay public concerns over the 75-year-old President’s state of health.
Duterte usually delivers public address every late Monday evening, compelling the state-run PTV-4 to sometimes air it the following morning.
However, Duterte’s address to the nation on Monday night was aired on PTV-4 the same day it was delivered but was taped.
Apart from live airing of Duterte’s speeches, there is a possibility that he might also hold a live virtual press briefing with reporters, Roque earlier said.
Roque, in his latest remarks, said Duterte has yet to decide on the proposed live press briefing with Palace reporters.
“We’re still awaiting the decision of the President. We will inform you if there is already a decision and when will it be,” he said.
People began speculating anew about the real status of Duterte’s health when he stayed in his hometown Davao City since August 3.
Duterte flew back to Metro Manila on Sunday night to announce the new quarantine classifications in the country.
Roque said Duterte is also expected to sign the proposed Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2) “in soonest time” to boost the government’s Covid-19 response efforts.
The proposed Bayanihan 2, however, is still under review by the Office of Executive Secretary as a “standard operating procedure,” Roque said.
“Inaasahan po natin ang paglagda niya (Duterte) sa lalong mabilis na panahon (We expect him to sign [proposed Bayanihan 2] the soonest time possible),” he said.
The proposed Bayanihan 2, which now awaits Duterte’s signature, allows the President to realign funds for the Covid-19 pandemic.
The measure provides for a stimulus package worth PHP165.5 billion, which consists of PHP140 billion in regular appropriations and PHP25.5 billion in standby funds. (PNA)