President Rodrigo Duterte said he would consider selling government assets as a last resort to fund government’s COVID-19 response in case “end game” comes.
Duterte said in a televised address to the public aired early Thursday “end game” is when the government already ran out of money to combat the pandemic coronavirus.
“What is the endgame? Pag maubos talaga ang pera,” Duterte said. “Pag wala na akong makuha and we’re about to sink and really sink, I will sell all the assets of the government tapos itulong ko sa tao.”
(What is the endgame? If the money runs out. When I can’t get any more, and we’re about to sink, I will sell all the assets of the government and use it to help the people.)
Duterte cited the idea of selling the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) or the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).
“Ako magbigay ako sa inyo ng hope. For the time na nandito ako, ako ang kontrol, ibigay ko lahat o kaya ipagbili ko lahat… Ngayon ibibigay ko sa inyo ‘yan and do not worry about the money,” Duterte said.
(I will give you hope. For the time that I am here, I control. I will provide all or I will sell everything. Now I will give it to you and do not worry about the money.)
Duterte to sell government assets when ‘end game’ comes
Duterte said that he would even allow the opposition members to negotiate the sale of the state assets.
“Ibibigay ko sa opposition… Sige kayo ang mag-negotiate para wala kayong duda sa amin,” Duterte said.
(I will give it to the opposition. Go, you negotiate so you would have no doubts about us.)
In his previous address, the President said the P270 billion COVID-19 response budget under the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act was not enough. Duterte described it as the biggest social aid in the country’s history.
Of the P270 billion, P200 billion is allocated to give cash aid to 18 million “poorest of the poor” families in the country. Each family would receive P5,000 to P8,000 pesos through the social amelioration program.