President Rodrigo Duterte has already signed an executive order declaring a public health emergency over the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019), said presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Monday.
Interviewed on Dobol B sa News TV, Panelo said he would release a copy of the order during his regular press briefing in Malacañang at 12:30 p.m.
“Napirmahan na, ire-release na namin ‘yung executive order,” he said.
(It was signed, we will release the executive order.)
Panelo said the executive order would allow the government to prices of essential commodities as well as the purchase of medical equipment without the required bidding process.
Asked if the purchase without bidding will open the government to corruption, Panelo said, “Sa panahon ng mga nakaraang administration siguro [maybe in the past administrations], not in this administration.”
Public health emergency over COVID-19 outbreak
“Alam naman natin si Presidente. Ibang klaseng presidente ito, hindi uubra sa kaniya ‘yung mga ganyan,” Panelo added.
(We know the President. He is a different kind of President. He would not allow things like that.)
Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire earlier said no one could refuse to undergo quarantine procedures during a state of a public health emergency.
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COVID-19 cases in the Philippines
Department of Health on Sunday confirmed four new cases of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), bringing the country’s total to 10.
DOH said the 7th case is a 38-year-old Taiwanese male who has a history of contact with a Taiwanese national who visited the Philippines and tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan.
The 8th case is a 32-year-old Filipino male who had traveled to Japan within the past 14 days. He began showing symptoms on March 5.
The 9th case is an 86-year-old American male with pre-existing hypertension and a history of travel to the United States and South Korea. He began showing symptoms on March 1.
The 10th case is a 57-year-old Filipino male with no history of travel outside of the country.