MANILA – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said he sees a need for the government to expand its services due to the country’s growing population.
“Ang gobyerno kailangan mag-expand. Alam ninyo because the population is growing and dapat ang ekonomiya (The government must expand because the population is growing so the economy) also must grow with the population rate,” Duterte said in a prerecorded Talk to the People aired on Thursday.
Recalling his visit to the new Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital (DJFMH) at the San Lazaro Compound in Sta. Cruz, Manila last week, he said it reminded him of the country’s population problem, especially among poor Filipino families.
Duterte reiterated his push for access to reproductive health products and services but lamented that the Catholic Church has continued to advocate against contraceptive use.
“May pills naman, problema ayaw ng Simbahan (There are pills, but the Church opposes it),” he said.
He urged the Filipino couples to limit their children to three, blaming poverty on the country’s large population.
“After one or two, after one, two, three dapat boundary na (it should be the boundary) even for the young,” he added.
The Philippine population has reached over 112 million, based on recent government data.
Don’t be complacent
Meanwhile, Duterte reminded the public to continue observing minimum public health standards even as Covid-19 cases stayed low.
Data from the Department of Health (DOH) showed that there are currently 3,328 active Covid-19 infections as of Wednesday.
“We have less than 4,000 active Covid-19 cases in the country. Masyadong mababa na ‘yan (It’s quite low) but it should not really be a reason to be complacent about it. We still have to follow the minimum requirements to avoid a recontamination kung natamaan ka na (if you have been contaminated before) because it can infect you again and again,” he said.
He said the wearing of face masks, in particular, significantly helped control Covid-19 from spreading in the country.
Duterte thanked front-liners in the fight against Covid-19 and the public for following Covid-19 health and safety protocols.
“I continue to offer my profound gratitude to our medical professionals, scientists, and front-liners for doing a remarkable job since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. I likewise thank the Filipino people for continuing to cooperate with health authorities and following health protocols,” he added.
As of Wednesday, the DOH recorded a total of 109 new infections, which is significantly lower than the average cases recorded the previous week from May 2 to 8, which was 168 cases per day.
This figure brings the total number of confirmed Covid-19 infections to 3,687,428 nationwide with 3,623,661 recoveries and 60,439 deaths since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. (PNA)