Duterte to reopen economy when most Filipinos have access to COVID-19 vaccine

Pia Ranada

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Duterte to reopen economy when most Filipinos have access to COVID-19 vaccine

VACCINE AT LAST. President Rodrigo Duterte witnesses the arrival of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines from China.

File photo from Malacañang

The President says education officials and his economic team are 'pestering' him to lift major quarantine restrictions

President Rodrigo Duterte vowed to further lift pandemic restrictions on the economy once “most Filipinos” have access to a COVID-19 vaccine.

“If I see most of the citizens can avail of the vaccine in any of the health centers, hospitals – that is the standard. Then I will reopen everything in our economy,” he said on Thursday, March 4, at the inauguration of a school building in Valenzuela City.

Last Sunday, February 28, Duterte said he would allow face-to-face classes and declare a nationwide lifting of major quarantine restrictions if the country has a “stock” of two million vaccine doses.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr has taken this to mean Duterte wants a stockpile of this number of doses at any given time before loosening restrictions.

Duterte’s latest remarks come a day after a full Cabinet meeting where Department of Education officials discussed the possibility of resuming face-to-face classes in select schools.

The President, during his Thursday speech, said education officials and his economic team were “pestering” him about lifting restrictions and further opening up the economy. –

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is Rappler’s Community Lead, in charge of linking our journalism with communities for impact.