Philippines already on ‘normal footing’ amid Covid-19 downgrade: President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

2023 May 12

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.

MANILA – President Ferdinand R Marcos Jr. said Thursday the Philippines has already been on “normal footing” even before the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an end to the emergency phase of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

In a media interview on board his flight back to the Philippines, Marcos said there is no need to restore the emergency status in the country concerning the global health emergency downgrade.

“So we don’t need to do anything. We are already on normal footing. Nauna pa tayo sa kanila (We were ahead of them). And in terms of the… requirement that we used to have for a valid vaccine certificate, wala, matagal nang tinanggal ‘yun (we removed that long ago),” he said.

“So now we have the e-Pass that’s much easier to use. That was… to make the ease of travel better. But we did that a few months back.”

House of Representatives Speaker Martin Romualdez said the WHO declaration should pave the way for the Philippines to sustain economic growth or even take the economy to a higher growth path.

The lifting would translate to increased mobility, more economic activities, and therefore additional job and income opportunities for workers and their families, Romualdez added.

He noted that the lifting of travel restrictions would also mean more tourists visiting the Philippines.

“Let the concerned government agencies and sectors of the economy prepare for this possibility, which will benefit tourist destinations and local communities,” he said.

Romualdez, however, maintained that the public should not be complacent and always observe the minimum health requirements – wearing face masks when necessary, regularly washing hands, isolating when sick, getting vaccinated, and keeping physical distancing – to avoid being infected with Covid-19. 

Filane Mikee Cervantes (PNA)