MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte is urging Filipinos to go on vacation, Malacañang said Monday, about half a year into varying degrees of lockdown meant to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic.
"Ang mensahe po ng Presidente: kinakailangan mabuhay po tayo sa kabila ng COVID-19. Puwede naman pong gawin iyan sa pamamagitan ng pag-ingat sa ating mga buhay nang tayo po’y maghanapbuhay," said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
"Panahon na po para tayo naman po ay magbakasyon matapos ng napakatagal na lockdown, lalong-lalo na sa Metro Manila," he told reporters.
(The message of the President is we need to live in spite of COVID-19. We can do that by taking care of our lives so that we can earn a living. It is time for us to take a vacation after a very long lockdown, especially in Metro Manila.)
Last Oct. 1, the mountain city of Baguio reopened to tourists from Ilocos Region, while the resort island of Boracay started accepting visitors from Metro Manila and elsewhere in the country.
The Philippines has tallied 324,762 coronavirus infections, of which 45,799 were active as of Monday.