MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday told Filipinos not to be afraid of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
In a speech late Monday, Duterte said the national government will handle problems related to the pandemic and the Luzon-wide lockdown.
"Huwag kayong matakot ngayon. Huwag na huwag kayo matakot kasi sabi ko may pera ako, at kung mayroong palpak-palpak diyan kaunti, ayusin namin 'yan," he said.
"Ayusin ni [Delfin] Lorenzana 'yan, the implementor, pati ni [Eduardo] Año sa DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government), pati si [Carlito] Galvez. Puro military na 'yan sila."
Lorenzana is the incumbent secretary of national defense, Año is the current DILG secretary, while Galvez is the chief implementor of the Philippines' declared national policy against COVID-19.
Duterte also assured donors that their contributions will be accounted for when given to the government inter-agency task force on COVID-19 since "there's another audit in the integrity of the procedure."
The Department of Health reported on Monday 1,546 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country so far, with 78 deaths and 42 recoveries.