Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Thanks TikTok During Malacañang Presser
At 8 a.m. May 12, Filipinos woke up early to hear their fate: Would the enhanced community quarantine be extended or would the country ease into the gentler general community quarantine? President Rodrigo Duterte was expected to address the country and announce his decision.
There are no such announcements yet. After a brief discussion among select cabinet members about the need to balance health with economy as well as the emphasis on wearing masks (prompting some of the officials to wear them), Duterte went on to talk about his parents, his preference to be addressed as "Mayor" instead of "President," and then offered a P2-million prize to anyone who kills commanders of the New People's Army (NPA).
Stressing the importance of COVID-19 precautionary measures, he also warned that funeral homes were too full to accommodate anymore deaths.
The video, which was recorded late last night, then cuts into a clip of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque and his final remarks. He thanks governments of other countries, the EU, UN, UNICEF Philippines, private donors, airlines, several Chinese bodies, and TikTok Limited.
TikTok, a video networking app, has experienced a surge during the pandemic. One of its users is, in fact, the spokesperson himself, who joined back in March. His debut video was an eclectic performance to "The Weekend" by SZA.
Despite controversies surrounding the Chinese networking site, TikTok has been crucial amid the pandemic. Apart from being a source of entertainment, it has also pledged $375 million to support COVID-19 relief funds and initiatives.