President Bongbong Marcos: “We have to get away from the emergency, the emergency stance of the DOH, because we have to open up businesses“
PRESIDENT BONGBONG MARCOS — The President recently spoke about his reason why he wouldn’t name a DOH secretary for now.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an annual conference by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) on Thursday, the President shared the reason why he wouldn’t name a health secretary for now.
“We have to get away from the emergency, the emergency stance of the DOH, because we have to open up businesses,” the President said. “We have to make the Philippines more hospitable to travelers, both business and tourists.”
Citing economic reasons, the President said that he would name a health secretary once the coronavirus situation in the Philippines “normalizes” from its current state of calamity.
The President made his assessment of COVID-19 in the Philippines amidst updates by the Department of Health (DOH) this week on XBB and XBC, confirming on Tuesday the presence of these Omicron recombinants in the country and, on Friday, their local transmission.
Also, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed on Friday the presence of XBB in the Philippines and 7 other Western Pacific countries as the organization urged these nations to continue observing health protocols.
The President also said that it wasn’t yet time to lift the state of calamity.
According to a report, the Philippines remains in “a state of calamity due to the coronavirus”, as declared in 2020 by then-President Rodrigo Duterte in Proclamation No. 929. Duterte extended the state of calamity the following year with Proclamation No. 1218.
But regardless of Proclamation No. 1218 being still in effect, the President said that the Philippines should treat COVID-19 as “no longer … an emergency but something that we will have to manage forever”.