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At least 2 out-of-town trips for Duterte as Metro Manila restricts movement

At least 2 out-of-town trips for Duterte as Metro Manila restricts movement

MANILA, Philippines — Despite the fresh spikes in COVID-19 infections, President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to be “very busy” and is scheduled to attend at least two out-of-town engagements this week, Malacañang said Monday.

The 75-year-old Duterte, who previously was only seen in his late night addresses, has been very visible to the public recently and has been leading the inauguration of various government projects in different provinces.

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Officials, however, have clarified that the Presidential Security Group (PSG) would continue to limit the number of people who would interact with the president as a safety measure against the pandemic.

“The president will be very busy this week. He has two out-of-town trips scheduled for this week,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said at a press briefing when asked whether the rise in the number of COVID-19 infections would affect Duterte’s schedule.

Roque, nevertheless, said he would still ask the PSG about the president’s schedule given the recent pandemic-related developments.

Duterte attended five public events during the first week of March: The turnover of Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines, the inauguration of school buildings in Bulacan and Valenzuela, the meeting of the anti-insurgency regional task force in Cagayan de Oro. Last week, the president led the inauguration of the upgraded Port of Dumaguete and the newly-developed Dumaguete Sibulan Airport, projects that aim to improve maritime and air connectivity in Negros Island.

Duterte, who has vowed to heed his doctor’s advice on the type of COVID-19 vaccine he should get, is scheduled to address the public on Monday night.

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