Palace seeks 'new normal' PH by end of Duterte's term

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 01 2022 11:02 PM

People walk under the afternoon heat in Quezon City on March 23, 2022. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/file
People walk under the afternoon heat in Quezon City on March 23, 2022. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA - The government will "use everything" within its authority to have the Philippines achieve a "new normal" by the end of President Rodrigo Duterte's term, Malacañang said on Friday. 

Acting Deputy Palace spokesperson Kris Ablan said the country also aims to fully vaccinate 100 percent of the eligible population against COVID-19 by June.

"We are going to use everything under our power to achieve 100% vaccination and get back to our new normal before the President steps down on June 30," said Ablan in a press briefing. 

The COVID-19 task force has yet to release any guidelines for the new normal, but officials floated the idea of an "Alert Level 0." 

Interior Undersecretary Epimaco Densing last month said under the said quarantine level, COVID-19 could be treated like ordinary flu, with local governments having more power to manage rising cases. 

It is also important, he said, that the lingering respiratory disease will be declared as endemic.

Philippines has continued to record less than 400 daily COVID-19 cases in the past 6 days, data analyzed by the ABS-CBN Data Analytics team showed. 

The government has fully vaccinated some 65.8 million individuals, or 73.11 percent of the target. Government aims to fully immunize 90 million individuals by the end of June. 

Metro Manila and 197 areas nationwide are under the loosest Alert Level 1 status, which requires an area to have a relatively high COVID-19 vaccination rate and a low-risk health care utilization. 

Only 57 areas have yet to be deescalated to Alert Level 1, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said. 

"So, always remember in order for us to be able to ensure that the population will be adequately protected in spite of us easing restrictions vaccination should be high para po protektado ang mga tao," she said during the same briefing. 


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