Duterte Tasks Officials with Funding Coronavirus Fight: ‘You Can Steal, I Don’t Care’ by GABRIELLE REYES for Breitbart
GNN Note – We need to cut all ties with the Philippines.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said the country is running out of money to provide aid to people amid the Chinese coronavirus crisis.
In a nationally broadcast speech on Monday night, Duterte urged the government to find solutions.
“The PHP 100 billion [$1.94 billion] for one month or the PHP 270 billion [$5.329 billion] for two months earlier estimated for this is not enough. I’m calling on the Secretary of Finance to generate [funding],” Duterte said.
“You can steal, you can borrow, I don’t care. Just produce money,” the president added.
Duterte had secured $5.329 billion in funding through a special “emergency powers” bill approved by the Philippine Congress on March 24. The bill was designed to give the government more power to halt the spread of the Chinese coronavirus in the Philippines.
The funding was meant to be distributed, in part, as cash aid to poor Filipino families who have lost their jobs during a lockdown of Luzon, the Philippines’ main island, where Manila is located. The “enhanced community quarantine” began on March 16 and has closed most businesses on the island, home to 48.5 million people.
On Tuesday, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles announced that Luzon’s lockdown would be extended to at least April 30. It had originally been expected to last until April 12.
“We are finding ways to adjust the budget … We will prioritize the people, the stomach. If they have nothing to eat, a human being can become violent,” the president said in his speech on Monday. “Don’t test the government because even the government is getting desperate. I am also desperate.”
On April 1, a group of Quezon City residents demanded government aid through a staged rally. Some in the group claimed they were hungry and protesting that a shipment of government aid had been delayed during the lockdown. Quezon City is located northeast of Manila, the capital.