A child gets vaccinated against COVID-19 in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur, during the launch of the vaccination of children aged 5 to 11 on Monday, Feb. 14, 2022. (Photo from the Vigan City government)
MANILA, Philippines — Outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte highlighted on Monday how his administration was able to contain the spread of COVID-19 in a shorter time than most other countries.
“If I were to judge myself, the one single thing that my government did was to contain COVID-19 in a very much earlier span of time,” he said in his taped weekly “Talk to the People” briefing.
“To think that others are now having a surge — simply because maybe the citizens of that country do not want to follow regulations,” he added.
Duterte made the remark after it was reported to him that most cities and regions in the country remained under minimal risk for COVID-19 infection.
He attributed this to the compliance of Filipinos with minimum public health standards such as wearing masks and getting vaccinated against the disease.
Duterte also touted how the economy was able to bounce back from the impact of the pandemic due to the increase in mobility allowed by fewer coronavirus infections.
“We started our economy because we were able to vaccinate everybody. The people followed our pleadings. We were wounded economically, and yet I’m fortunate that with my term ending the number of cases is very low,” he said.
Duterte thanked medical frontliners for their effort in containing the virus and getting Filipinos vaccinated. He said, however, that they would “have to do some more for our country” to further urge more people vaccinated.
“I know that you are bone-weary. I know that you’re tired of working, but you must remember that it is our country and you have to stretch your effort. You have to do some more for our country,” he said.
The president also praised his Cabinet.
“We did our best and the best among us came out very strong in the context of governing a country — especially my Cabinet members,” Duterte said.
The Philippines improved its ranking in the Nikkei COVID-19 Recovery Index, rising to 33rd place from its 57th place ranking in December 2021.
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