Duterte says Philippine economy cannot afford more lockdowns

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte yesterday warned that prolonged Covid-19 lockdowns would inflict great damage on the economy, as he urged Filipinos to get vaccinated to help achieve herd immunity.

"We cannot afford any more lockdowns lest our economy bleeds to the point of irreversible damage," Mr Duterte said in comments made during his final State of the Nation address before he steps down next year.

He also said the country will fight for "what is rightfully ours" and not allow itself to be bullied by any superpower.

"Make no mistake: Gone are the days when the Philippines decides and acts in the shadows of the great powers," he added. - REUTERS