President Rodrigo Duterte postponed his visit to Boracay Island in Malay, Aklan, Palace spokesperson Salvador Panelo announced on Wednesday night, March 11.
"In light of the recent developments and after careful review of the situation concerning the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte will not proceed to Boracay Island on Thursday, March 12, as earlier scheduled," Panelo said in a statement.
The President's visit was supposedly meant to promote the Boracay, which has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 scare.
"The visit of the President to the said island is moved to a later date," Panelo said.
Tourist arrivals on the island went down by 40 percent due to COVID-19.
The Malay Municipal Tourism Office recorded 103, 834 local and foreign tourists in Feb. this year, lower compared to 172,695 visitors in the same month a year ago.
Few hours after Panelo announced the postponement of Duterte's Boracay visit, Senator Bong Go confirmed he and the President will get tested for COVID-19.
"Pa-test kami ni PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) [on Thursday, March 12]," Go said.
“Considering that some Cabinet members we engage with regularly have been exposed to individuals who were tested positive of COVID-19 and have decided to undergo self-quarantine, it is just prudent for us to take precautionary measures in compliance with the advice of our health officials,” he explained.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, and Senators Nancy Binay and Gatchalian are among the government officials who are currently under self-quarantine.IMT
Photo of Duterte by Xinhua News Agency