The ANC Brief: Presidential address


Posted at Apr 01 2020 05:19 AM

The Palace set a presidential address “tentatively” for 4:00 p.m. on Monday. President Duterte finally faced the nation close to midnight. Here are the stories making the headlines on ANC today:

Late night address
In a late-night address on Monday, President Duterte said health workers are lucky to die for the country. The remark did not sit well with many people, particularly Sen. Risa Hontiveros who said the health workers didn’t have to die if they had proper protective equipment and testing. The President’s report that is required to be submitted to Congress under the law giving him emergency powers has been turned in to legislators. Also, low-income families in Metro Manila will be getting P5000 to P8000 but agencies are still finalizing the database.

Lockdown in Luzon
The COVID-19 cases in the Philippines rose past 2,000 with the death toll at 88. Hospitals are still calling for personal protection equipment (PPE) with the private sector responding. At the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), the PPE is set to run out in 1-2 weeks. A technical working group led by the Department of Health (DOH) will formulate recommendations for the possible lifting or extension of the lockdown in Luzon.

Food security
Agriculture Sec. William Dar said movement of agricultural food products is being hampered by the insistence of local governments to enforce their quarantine rules. But supply of farm products is adequate, he said. A task force on COVID-19 is eyeing rice imports as a contingency.

The World Bank said the Philippine economy will grow at 3% at best, and contract at 0.5% at worst in 2020. A bankers group said Philippine banks should be prepared for their profits to take a hit for the sake of reviving the economy. Meanwhile, economic adviser Joey Concepcion said the Philippines should shift to barangay-based quarantine to restart the economy.

Into the wilderness
The community quarantine is turning our once cacophonous cities into ghost towns. Neil Daza goes around the Metro’s deserted corners with camera on hand to capture what was lost and what remains.