PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has discouraged children from collecting “aguinaldo” or gifts from their ninongs and ninangs (godfathers and godmothers), reminding them that doing so would put them at risk of contracting coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
In a taped speech aired late Wednesday night, Duterte said this was a year to keep “calm” and skip the annual visit to godparents in exchange for their health and safety.
“There is always a time. Now is the time to be — hindi naman sedentary but iyong kalma muna. Tutal marami pa namang Pasko eh. Huwag na kayong maghingi-hingi ng mga ninong, ninang kasi kaawa ‘yung mga ano. Tapos maglabas ‘yung ninang mo pati ninong, mamili diyan sa kung saan-saan. Idamay mo lang,” he said.
He urged them to be patient and pray for the sick and hungry while a vaccine for COVID-19 has yet to be available in the country.
“Maghingi ka, hopefully in God’s own time, maybe next December. In the meantime, what should we do is pray for our country and prepare for those who are sick. At saka kung kakain ka, ako kung magkain ako (And when you eat, when I eat), when I say my prayer, ‘God, remember those who have the food but who cannot eat,’” he added.
Quoting Ecclesiastes 3 from the Bible, Duterte said that “there is a time for everything”.
“There’s always a time for an end. So time for happiness, time for enjoyment, birthday parties, wedding receptions, and time to be just relax lang, relax lang. Mahaba pa ang buhay.If not for you, then for your children,” he said.
Duterte, meanwhile, reiterated his call to observe minimum health and safety standards during the holiday season.
“Christmas time is about a few days from now. Sundin lang natin ‘yung culture. But remember the word ‘but’, but there are rules to be followed at this time of our national life,” he said.
According to Duterte, it won’t be long until a vaccine will reach the country’s shores.
“Sumunod ho kayo sa mga patakaran ng gobyerno. Para sa inyong lahat ito. Kaunting tiis na lang. Nandiyan na ang bakuna,” he said.
Last week, Duterte urged the public to skip Christmas festivities to avoid spreading or catching the disease.
“You had parties every Christmas. Would you be kind enough just to skip the festivities? Iwasan na muna ninyo.You avoid it because it is for your own good and for the good of the community and eventually for the good of the country,” he said. Philippine News Agency