Duterte ‘inclined’ to extend lockdown to April 30

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    President Duterte addresses the nation on April 6. (Screengrab from YouTube)
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    PRESIDENT Duterte on Monday night said he is inclined to “extend the lockdown up to April 30.”

    The President, in a public address, did not say if the extension refers to the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon or it meant expanding the imposition to other parts of the country.

    “If you really want to know, we have discussed it before… we are inclined to extend the lockdown up to April 30. Tingnan natin after that (We will see what happens after that). In the meantime, double time kami doon sa tinatawag na middle class (In the meantime, we will work double time on how to assist those in the middle class),” the President said in his address.

    Duterte said he wants government to include in its solutions and discussions how the government can also assist the middle-income class, whom he said are also feeling the pinch of the work stoppage following the lockdown that started last March 15 in Metro Manila and midnight of March 17 in Luzon.

    The President ordered Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III to look for more funds, saying that the P275-billion supplemental budget that government prepared to address the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic would not be enough to attend to the needs of everyone – from feeding the poor and vulnerable sectors, to attending to the needs of those affected by the virus and now to assist the middle-class.

    Duterte also urged everyone, especially the well-to-do, to help in anyway they can as he said the government would not be able to handle all especially now that the economy is at a standstill.

    He also said he does not know until when the COVID-19 problem would last but expressed belief that a vaccine is the only solution.

    In the meantime, he urged everyone to be more understanding and patient as well as to come together on Holy Wednesday and pray to God that that the country will survive the pandemic.

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