The COVID-19 Crisis in SONA 2020

On July 27, 2020, President Rodrigo Duterte delivered his 5th State of the Nation Address at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City. With its strictly implemented protocols and limited attendance, the overall set-up of the event is markedly distinct from past SONAs. The shadow of COVID-19, however, extends beyond the face shields and prominent distancing. The topic of the virus and its extensive impact on the lives of the Filipinos were very much present in the president’s speech as he addressed a country crippled by this global pandemic.

Here is a breakdown of the president’s statements regarding the COVID-19 crisis, what we have achieved to cope with the pandemic, and the steps we still need to take to overcome it.

What The Government Has Done So Far
• Over 92.3 million Filipinos have received subsidies through the cash subsidy program.
• Our strong fiscal position has placed the country in a better position to weather the pandemic.
• Numerous LGUs across the country have stepped up to initiate their own response measures to contain the effects of the COVID-19.
• A price cap on widely-used medicine has been set through an executive order.
• The interventions put in place by the government prevented 1.3 – 3.5 million COVID-19 cases.
• We now have 93 accredited COVID-19 testing laboratories nationwide.
• The Congress has successfully passed the Bayanihan To Heal As One Act.

What The Government Hopes to Achieve
• The government aims to have 1.4 million tests conducted by the end of July.
• DSWD and DILG were directed to look into the lack of assistance received by jeepney drivers.
• “Opportunists” who took advantage of the Social Amelioration Program will be apprehended immediately.
• The president hopes to push for a second Bayanihan Act that will provide supplementary funds for COVID-19 response.
• Government agencies were told to get rid of long lines for frontline services.
• Face-to-face classes will remain prohibited until the COVID-19 vaccine is made available.
• A plea has been forwarded to President Xi Jinping of China to grant the Philippines initial access to the vaccines once they’ve been approved and released.
• The government aims to hire more than 20,000 health professionals by next year.
• Several projects will focus on equipping and supporting rural health units and barangay stations as we pursue the whole-of-nation approach.
• The president urges for a passage of law that will improve our country’s response for any future pandemics.
• The Congress will also look into the creation of a National Disease Management Authority.
• The Advanced Nursing Education Act and the law instituting medical reserve corps is being pushed by the president to be passed.
• It is unlikely to open up the economy and have the same levels as we had before the pandemic.

In support of our government’s efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, MEDTEK offers a wide-range of COVID-19 diagnostic products, including the FDA-approved Innovita rapid antibody test kit. We hope to equip our medical professionals with the assured accuracy and reliability of these products as they continue to contain the threats of the COVID-19 virus.

For hospitals, testing laboratories, and LGUs interested in purchasing our products of their testing initiatives, please feel free to fill out the form below.