Editor’s note: Released by the Presidential Communications Operations Office’s Presidential News Desk a couple of days ago, the following is the full text of President Rodrigo Duterte’s public address delivered Friday putting the National Capital Region under “community quarantine” effective today, Sunday, 15 March 2020, on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis:
“My countrymen, good evening. I am now addressing the nation together with the civilian, military and police sectors — the organizations that would count in our enforcement of the laws to protect the people of the Republic of the Philippines.
Pardon my broken Tagalog. Pero sa mga kababayan ko, kayo, ako: Do not panic. Huwag kayong masyadong ma-stress na parang hindi mo na magawa ang gusto mong gawin. Pwede pa rin pero may restrictions tayo, may mga kondisyon dahil nga sa crisis.
The crisis is very, very clear, COVID-19 is spreading all throughout the country including the Philippines. Ang ano ho natin dito is there is no cure. Wala naman tayong mabili sa mga botika, pharmacy, to buy the medicines to cure COVID-19. It’s a virus.
Ang panglaban lang natin diyan ‘yung katawan natin na medyo ano ka in good health na walang sakit. Iyong medyo mahina, make yourself healthier by whatever means maybe food, vitamins. But most of all, try to obey what government is suggesting or ordering you to do.
Huwag kayong matakot, huwag kayong manerbiyos pero wala pang sabi ko mga antidote nito. It would only come in a form of a vaccine. Kagaya ng kagatin kayo ng aso tapos there is the — ang tawag nila rabis or rabies, if you may, pang-away. Sarili rin niyang ano.
It’s a form of germs i-mutate lang to fight, to warn our bodies, magbigay ng signal sa katawan natin na merong mga germs na pumapasok sa katawan mo, and the only way to fight it is to ‘yung mga sundalo na ang tawag nila antibodies, ‘yung pang-away mo sa mga madudumi, mga kagaw, germs, sila ‘yung ma-alert at sila ‘yung papatay ng virus.
But until now, wala pa ho ‘yan. So, nandiyan na ‘yan. It’s a serious one. It is true. Huwag ninyong maliitin. Do not minimize it, I said, but do not kill yourself with worry because government is doing everything possible to make it at least controllable, but kung kayo po ay mag-cooperate.
‘Pag hindi kayo nag-cooperate, ah the problem would start and it would start with you and end with you pagka ganun. So ‘yung mga sinasabi na social distancing, sundin lang po ninyo. At ‘yung mga ibinibigay na well ahead ng Department of Health, sundin ho ninyo kung anong sinasabi ng mga doktor kasi sila po ang marunong niyan.
Ang military, ako, lahat na hindi doktor walang alam, wala kaming maitulong sa inyo. It’s only the medical people and medical experts who can help us. So listen to them. Dito sa atin, it’s Secretary Duque, and Secretary Duque would articulate kung anong nalaman niya, anong bago na pumasok na impormasyon and he would tell us what to do.
So it’s very important to give credence to what he says. Ang importante niyan sumunod kayo. At meron ho kaming itong task force, inter-agency ‘to, kasali na ang military pati pulis kasi kailangan namin ang tulong nila kung sakali man lalala talaga ‘to. Maybe this would create a public disturbance, disorder, but tingin ko hanggang diyan lang naman kasi you know, I know that you want to follow because you want to help everybody including yourself and your family.
Meron ho kaming resolution ngayon. But maybe I will convert this into an executive order para masunod talaga lahat.
Ang sinabi dito ang una ang resolution is ‘yung: A province quarantine is advised when there are at least two positive COVID-19 cases belonging to different municipalities, component cities or independent component cities in the same province, itong national capital ng isang probinsiya.
Iyon ang definition kung ano ‘yan.
Ito namang LGUs which have imposed community quarantine in their respective jurisdiction, upon the declaration of State of Calamity, shall be allowed to access their Quick Relief Response. Ang ibig sabihin ho ‘yung ano ninyo sa probinsiya ninyo which you have prepared can now be utilized to the fullest with the help of the national government.
Itong isa: Work in the executive department — ‘yung departamento ko ‘yung akin. Kasi tatlo ‘yan: department — ‘yang ano executive department, ako.
Then Congress is another department, independent ho ‘yan. Hindi kailangan sumunod ‘yan. May sarili sila kung gusto nila. And the other department actually is the judiciary. Magkaiba kami pero tingin ko ang mga trabahante sa lahat sa gobyerno na may alam kung anong mga bagay public works, tourism, nandito sa departamento ko.
Iyong public health nandito sa akin so sila ‘yung inutusan kong mag-aral at ito nga ‘yung mga resulta namin. So work in the executive department shall be suspended during this period. Walang trabaho, suspended sila. Well, huwag pumasok. Without prejudice to the formation of skeletal workforces by government agencies in order to maintain the unimpeded delivery of services to the public. Ibig sabihin sa mga opisina, national, walang trabaho pero may mga skeletal ‘yung mga — a few employees, volunteer or selected, na sila ang mag muna — to man the fort, ika nga.
Sila ‘yung magpapatakbo ng departamento but with a reduced workforce.
Ito namang flexible work arrangement, shall likewise be encouraged in the private sector. The Department of Labor and Employment and the Department of Trade and Industry shall issue guidelines to safeguard the welfare of workers.
All manufacturing, retail, and service establishments are advised to remain in operation during said period. Provided, that strict social distancing measures are required to be observed by their respective managements.
Ibig pong sabihin sa pribado, labas sa gobyerno, ang trabaho tuloy-tuloy pero ganon rin, reduced, ang skeletal pa — medyo ano lang, ‘yung pinili lang. At ‘yung walang mga sakit, magtatrabaho sila but ang may-ari ng factory o anong klaseng negosyo mo, warehouse, see to it that they are taken care of by their ‘yung mga management.
Huwag ninyong hayaan ang mga trabahante ninyo. Mass public transports including the Light Rail Transits, the Metro Rail Transit, and the Philippine National Railways shall continue in operation. Tuloy-tuloy ho ang trabaho ninyo. Provided, that the Department of Transportation shall issue guidelines to ensure social distancing in said public transports.
Ibig sabihin, tuloy-tuloy ang trabaho ninyo pero ang social distancing, ‘yung distansya mo to the other fellow, medyo malayo. Kasi ho ‘pag nag-ubo siya o humatsing, at least ‘yung germs niya hanggang doon lang hindi niya maipasa because there is the distance.
Kaya it behooves upon the Transportation department to come up with the guidelines, based on what the Health department orders. Lahat dito po, ang pinaka importante, pinakatigas ika nga, ang Department of Health. Kung ano man ang gagawin natin, kung anong utusin nila, i-utos nila para sa atin, susundin talaga natin. Hindi ako, kung hindi si Dr. Duque ng DOH.
Land, domestic air, and domestic sea travel to and from Metro Manila shall be suspended beginning 15, 2020 — March 15, 2020 and to end on April 14, 2020 sa alas dose. Subject to the daily review by the Inter-Agency Task Force. So walang lumipad, ang mga travel is limited. Pero itong mga railways sa baba, okay ‘yan. At the same time, observe again social distancing. Pero sa eroplano po, beginning March 15, 2020… March 13 tayo ngayon?  Ah, 12. Oo. March 15, sa midnight, from ano — it takes, it falls in effect.
So tandaan ho ninyo ‘yan. Pero subject again to review day to day. Tignan namin kung ano ang nangyayari. Kung —if there is a slowdown in the contagion or ganun ‘yan eh, kan — medyo mawala lang ng kaniya, that is the history of itong mga sakit na ito.
They come and go in every two or three generations. Meron talagang problema na itong ibinigay sa atin at wala tayong magawa. Ito ‘yung talagang trabaho nila.
The Code Alert System for the COVID-19 public health event is hereby raised to Code Red Sublevel Two (2).
The Department of Health has to explain to the public itong wherewithals ng Code Red Sublevel Two. I think which is the highest sa prescribed ng WHO. Medyo naka — nandito na tayo sa maximum and it is really for the protection of humanity.
The recommendations of the Department of Health Technical Advisory Group on imposing Stringent Social Distancing Measures in the National Capital Region are adopted for a period of thirty (30) days from the issuance of this Resolution, the salient points — ‘yung mga importante — of which are as follows… Iyong mga importante na nakalagay doon sa social distancing measures.
The suspension of classes in all levels in Metro Manila is hereby extended until April 12, 2020. That’s almost about one month ngayon. So walang klase. Pwede kayong magbakasyon diyan lang sa bahay. Avoid… I’m sure may mga bagay-bagay diyan sa bahay na hindi pa ninyo nakita. If I were a student, estudyante man rin ako noon, I would avoid ‘yung mga – — mga bar-bar ano diyan, mga nightclub, ‘yung maraming tao where people congregate tapos nandiyan malapit kayo. Mag-ubo ‘yung isa, mapasa niya. ‘Pag nakuha mo, nag-ubo ka, pasa mo rin doon sa kabila. Try to avoid people, crowds — ‘yon, sa ano — for your own protection.
Huwag kang… May mga tao kasi na magsabi, “Ah, wala ‘yan kung patay ka, patay.” Tama. Pero kung patay, patay ka rin talaga, wala rin tayong magawa. So kaawa naman ang nanay pati tatay ninyo. So better just stay within the premises of the house.
If I were you… Alam niyo, alam ko na kung anong gawain ninyo. Bili kayo ng cellphone na marami. Wala naman kayong ginawa kung hindi magtulbok-tulbok rin diyan eh. I mean, all — everywhere that I look. Dito sa ano walang pakialam ang tao, sige nandoon na sa cellphone. So we are reduced to a one village, o ‘di mas malapit instead of talking, you have your cellphone and that is a benefit which was not given us during our time.
Number one ito: The suspension of classes in all levels in Metro Manila is hereby extended until April 12, 2020. Provided, that all students shall continue to fulfill their educational requirements during said period. Anong ibig sabihin? Kung wala kang magawa, ang sabi ng gobyerno magaral ka. Pero ito, hindi ko inaasahan susunod — susundin ninyo. Ang sigurado ako, ‘yang kamay ninyo nandiyan sa cellphone ‘yan instead of studying. I’m sure of it.
But for you guys who really want to improve your lot, better make use of the time to study. But for you guys who really want to improve your lot, you better make use of the time to study because… Alam mo mga anak, kayong mga bata, ‘yung — kayo ‘yung mamatay na hindi makalabas ng bahay eh. Then you make all sorts of excuses. But you know, there will be truant officers. Alam mo ‘yung truant? ‘Yang sa… It’s an American practice. ‘Pag makita ka sa labas, pasakay sa — palaboy-laboy ka lang diyan, wala kang ginagawa, sisigaw-sigaw kayo, lalapitan kayo ng pulis pati military. Tatanungin kayo, then you have a problem. ‘Pag sinabi mo na, “wala nandito lang kami sa labas.” And then maybe if you are arrogant, dadalhin ka istasyon for record purposes, that you are disobeying, that you are intransigent and that you are not fulfilling your duty.
Alam mo, maski na walang… There are a set of rules governing the responsibilities of a Filipino citizen. Baka hindi ninyo alam ‘yan. Meron ‘yan. So you have duties to perform also. Avoid trouble with the law, avoid trouble with anybody, just in the meantime, follow. Better just stay home and study. That is my advice. Pero kung ayaw ninyong sundin, you stick with your cellphone, ang ga-graduate niyan ang cellphone mo hindi ikaw. [laughter] Wala tayong magawa.
Mass gatherings, defined as a planned or spontaneous event where the number of people attending could strain the planning and response resources of the community hosting the event, shall be prohibited during said period. ‘Yang magplano whether nakaplano kayo na mag-meeting or may rally. Either na plano na ninyo spontaneous lang. “Sige mag-ano tayo, gawain ito natin. Tutal wala na rin tayong gawin, ganito na lang magsayawan na lang tayo.” You know we do not — I do not want anybody interfering in your enjoyment as a citizen of this Republic. Ayaw ko na masita kayo ng pulis pati military. It could be messy. Kasi mga — ‘yung iba sa inyo suplado. And itong mga pulis pati military, they have their orders to enforce. So that if you are in this category of a — grupo kayo tapos ‘pag malapit, ‘yung social distancing is no longer obeyed and — ‘yan, you are violating the rules.
And if you insist, it is one of a —- just mere confrontation to something like disobedience which is punishable under the Revised Penal Code. Kung makipag-away ka, it becomes — baka mag — masuntok mo o ano then it becomes an assault on an agent of a person in authority.
In which case, from a simple violation of a rule, it will now ripen into a crime that is punishable by law and you can go to prison. That’s the problem. Ayaw ko. Ayaw ko. Ayaw ko na masita kayo ng military pati pulis. But ako sa inyo, if you are advised, just obey. Wala namang mawala sa inyo tutal sa inyo ‘yan eh. It’s for your own good. Hindi man ito para sa amin. Ako, I hate it. But you have to do it because there is a crisis that is engulfing the country right now.
Community quarantine is hereby imposed in the [entirety] of Metro Manila and in other — in other areas the LGUs are advised to abide by the following guidelines imposing localized community quarantine in their respective jurisdictions.
For Manila, may… Ayaw namin gamitin ‘yan pero — kasi takot kayo sabihin “lockdown”. And a — but it’s a lockdown.
There is no struggle of power here. Walang away dito, walang giyera. It’s just a matter of protecting and defending you from COVID-19. That’s about it. It has nothing to do with the power of the military or the power of the police, nor or my power and of these guys beside me. Hindi ‘yan. It’s not an issue of — it’s just an issue of protecting public interest and public health. Iyon lang.
A barangay-wide quarantine is advised when [there are] at least two positive COVID-19 cases belonging to different households in the same barangay. Kung sa isang barangay may dalawa na infected, medyo i-quarantine na ninyo ‘yung barangay ninyo.
Kaya… Itong probema sa dalawa sabihin na — it behooves on the barangay captain actually. The barangay captain is — under the Administrative Code — is a person in authority. That’s why kung makipagsuntukan ka ng barangay captain because he is enforcing the law o awayin mo, pareho ang kasalanan mo kung lumaban ka sa pulis or sa person in authority. Mabigat ang barangay captain and teachers also.
Teachers, because of their — the nature of their work — are persons in authority because they are made so by the law itself to give them the stature in relation to the work of trying to mold and teach the Filipino students. Kaya ang teacher din kung utusan ka, sunod ka. Pareho sa barangay captain. Now if the barangay captain would ask the teachers to help in the enforcement, you better obey because they are in the exercise of teaching the persons there of the barangay of the dangers is part of their work.
Then you have the… A municipality/city-wide quarantine is advised when at least two positive COVID-19 cases belonging to different barangays in the same municipality.
Kung sa munisipyo kayo tapos isang barangay diyan may dalawa na tinamaan ng COVID-19, diagnosed to have COVID-19 infection magkaquarantine na rin kayo. And you know, before I forget… Eh wala tayong — I do not have enough soldiers and policemen to cover all over every inch of the country. Kulang ako.
Meron ako na magamit ko, ang barangay captain. Ang barangay captain is bound by what is written here whether by way of rules implementing in the meantime or if it becomes a part of an executive order. You better implement this because if not, then you will also go to prison for dereliction of duty or simply not enforcing a rule imposed by government.
Ang… Actually ang pinaka ano dito ‘yung mga barangay captains. It falls upon your shoulders to exactly do what this regulation wants to happen. Huwag kayong magkamali dito kasi ‘pag hinabol kayo ng Department of Interior and Local Government, you can be dismissed, or you can be suspended and you will have trouble.
And besides, I think the electorate will remember you for being a laggard. [Saan?] Kita mo si Senator Go? Siya lang ang working hard talaga. [laughter] Iyan ang public official. Really.
Especially the barangay captains and the kagawads. You have been elected there. You sought the position. Hindi naman tayo — pinili natin ‘to eh. Nobody ordered us for us to be to where we find ourselves now. At tapos tatamad-tamaran ka. That’s not the way how to do it. One is you go to… If there’s a case — a good case against you, you lose the position and you are dismissed. And maybe in the worst-case scenario, you will go to jail. Better be always be reminded of that duty. Pinili mo ‘yan. Huwag kang magtamad-tamaran kasi matatamaan ka. Ginusto mo ‘yang position, magtrabaho ka.
The aforementioned measures shall be subject to close monitoring, and reassessment after the expiration of seven (7) days from the issuance of this Resolution.
You know, we will review. I have imposed upon the Cabinet members and the entire members of this task force to be present everyday. I know that it is hard for them. It is really an imposition. It’s quite maybe a burden but ganun rin ang sinabi ko sa kanila. Eh nandito tayo sa gobyerno. You choose to be a part of government and there is a crisis with no solution in sight.
Walang solusyon unless there is a vaccine by the grace of God na may makita o maimbento ng ating mga scientists. It could be the Philippines for all you know. But I’m just telling you what you’re supposed to do.
Ang isa is the LGU outside of the National Capital Region — ‘yung labas ng Metro Manila — are advised to exercise sound discretion in suspending classes in their respective localities without prejudice to a determination by the national government to suspend classes if the situation so warrants.
So ang LGUs, may kaunting ano kayo leeway, just a little elbow room para makagalaw kayo, to respond to the crisis in the community. But it does not allow you to suspend classes on trivial and for you know stupid reasons.
It is only done because you have to protect them from the COVID-19. ‘Yan lang talaga. Do not do it just to please everybody or… Sabagay, I have full faith and confidence in our supervisors, teachers. I’m just saying that please do not do it the way others would want it to happen na mas maganda ‘yung walang klase, walang ganun.
Huwag mong gawin ‘yan because in the following statements: the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, in coordination of the Inter-Agency Task Force, shall be called upon to ensure effective and orderly implementation of the above measures.
Hindi ito martial law. It is not a martial law. It’s not even something extraordinary. But what is sought — what is sought to be solved here is the again, walang iba except to fight the virus and to exact compliance.
Mas mabuti talaga ‘yang maniwala kayo.
Now ang sunod: A meeting shall be conducted daily by and between the Secretaries and the member of agencies of the IATF — that is the InterAgency Task Force — including the Cabinet Secretary, Secretaries of National Defense, Environment and Natural Resources, Trade and Industry, Social Welfare and Development, Education, Agriculture, the chiefs of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine Navy, Philippine Air Force and Coast Guard because in a total breakdown, I would need their help to carry on with the governance.
Kailangan ko sila not to fight with you guys. Huwag kayong matakot sa sundalo ninyo. Sundalo ninyo ‘yan. Ang Armed Forces — ang Armed Forces is there to serve you. Sila ‘yung sundalo ninyo. So huwag kayong matakot kung nandiyan sila sa utos ng mga civilian authorities.
‘Yang mag-utos sa amin eh Department of Health. Secretary lang naman eh. So but when he says to the military and the police, you have to implement this. Obey them because they have the imprimatur of the civilian authorities.
Huwag kayong ma… Do not try to play with the martial law, martial law sa military. Hindi ‘yan. Hindi ‘yan. Pero ang sa totoo, in a total breakdown, public disturbance, alang-alang kami ang iharap mo. Wala naman kaming… It’s always the military who keep things in the country in order. Sila ‘yan. Titingnan nila na everything is in order everyday of their working days. Tingnan nila na ang Pilipinas safe at gumagana ang lahat ng mga tao pati mga opisina.
The Balik-manggagawa Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) shall be allowed to travel to mainland China, except to Hubei Province, upon execution of a Declaration signifying their knowledge and understanding of the risks involved.
Provided, that a health advisory pamphlet shall be handed out to the OFWs upon departure. Hindi nga eh. Not only pamphlet baka hindi mo basahin. You will be gathered in one corner or in one room, one corner, at sabihin sa inyo ang mga — I don’t know if it’s Tagalog or Bisaya — mga riesgo.
The risks that you will be taking when you go back to China.
But China, you know, President Xi Jinping, for all of his goodness to us, wrote me a letter and said that he is willing to help. All we have to do is to ask. Ako, ang tingin ko, maybe there will be a time if things deteriorate, that I have to call on China to help.
He has said that they have managed the crisis very well in his country and he is very much willing to help kung kailangan. So to the Chinese government, to the people especially to President Xi Jinping, thank you for the consoling words. And maybe — I hope it would not reach to that point – — but maybe we will need your help. Salamat po.
The entry travel restrictions shall be imposed upon those traveling from countries with localized COVID-19 transmissions, except for Filipino citizens including their foreign spouse and children, if any, holders of Permanent Resident Visa. Remember, Resident Vi — ang Pilipino walang problema — Holders of Permanent Resident Visa, and holders of Diplomatic Visas issued by the Philippine Government.
‘Yung travel dito ang gustong pumunta hindi na tatanggapin lalo na kung ‘yung bayan nila has ordered a restriction sa travel. Mismo ‘yung bayan nila hindi pumayag na mag-travel sila tapos pupunta sila dito, hindi rin natin sila tanggapin.
But ang Pilipino pati ‘yung pamilya niya — because they are Filipinos and this is their country, they are very much welcome to come back lalo na sa panahong ito if they want a more secure, comfortable place.
Now with regards to itong mga diplomat, ah hindi naman kailangangkailangang papasukin ‘yan sila. Tutal kung sabihin lang rin sa kanila ‘wag kayong lumabas diyan sa embassy ninyo, ‘wag kayong magpasyal-pasyal, diyan lang kayo. Kasi baka kayo pa ang magdala ng sakit ng ulo sa aking bayan.
I don’t mind Filipinos giving me a headache. But I certainly do not want anybody other than Filipinos to be giving me headaches. So iyan ang ano — ‘yun ho ang maibigay ko sa inyo na payo. You might — sometimes it’s a convoluted thing to listen, pabalik-balik. Ang simple lang ‘yan eh. The purpose: to protect and defend you. From what? From COVID-19.
Then what is the purpose of government? The purpose of government is see to it that things are in order. To do that, if things deteriorate, I said, the military and the police will maintain order. Kaya nga tawag diyan peace and order. There has to be a peace and that peace nakalagay na orderly. There must be order in the country. And that is all.
The purpose is to, I said, guard your — well, sumunod lang kayo. Lahat ng bayan ng buong mundo nauna pa sa atin. Tayo tinitingnan lang kasi mabilis sa kanila. In Italy, it’s — 1,000 a day sila ang pasa ng contagion. Dito sa atin, medyo maliit pa. Pero numbers in a crisis can be, you know, cruel. But overnight, makita mo meron ng — talagang mabilis na.
So what we are trying to control is people with COVID at tapos ‘yung ilayo natin ‘yung healthy ones. Sila ‘yung i-target natin, not for anything, but for their own good. They will be asked to maybe go to the hospital and seek treatment.
‘Yung mga test ng ano — test diyan sa para sa kung may infection ka o hindi, libre ‘yan. [Libre ‘no?] Libre, walang bayad. ‘Wag naman kung healthy ka, no need. But if you are — kung – if you are experiencing ubo, itong ma-ano na ubo tapos pag-ubo mo masakit ‘yung likod mo, the lungs. Ang lungs mo ang titirahin diyan eh. And of it’s too late, hindi na kaya ng antibiotics ‘yan.
It starts with a virus. The virus weakens your body. And it weakens your body, lahat na papasok, then it will kill you.
P***** i** itong virus na ito, walang ginawa, ganun. Papasok sa katawan mo ‘yan, just like AIDS, makes you weak, then it allows other germs to come into your body and you get sick. Usually pneumonia ‘yan. And it’s virulent. So seek treatment as soon as possible.
But we are here to serve you and everyday we are meeting and in contact with the rest of the country. Meron tayong istraktura. The structure really…
People are asking, “What is your prepa…? Where is the structure?” My God, ‘yung structure natin is itong Health. Meron ‘yan silang regional all over. Then mayroon ‘yung city health, provincial health. But ‘yung national, ‘yun ‘yung mga regional health centers.
They are already well — well-equipped, and well — nag-aral na ‘yan kung ano ang gawin nila. There is the structure.
So sumunod lang tayo at hinihingi ko sa inyo kaunting pasensiya lang. It’s for your own good. Para sa akin. Kung ayaw mo naman baka ako ang mamatay, hindi ka maawa sa akin. Dahil sa kalokohan mo, ayaw mong sumunod. So let’s help each other at this time of our life because everything is placed in jeopardy. Delikado talaga. Totoo ito, crisis talaga ito kasi walang gamot. Okay? Salamat po. Thank you for listening.” [applause]