Sara to skip 5th SONA to avoid cumbersome requirements upon return to Davao

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 22 July) –Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said she will skip the 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA) of her father, President Rodrigo R. Duterte, at the Batasang Pambansa on July 27 to ditch the cumbersome process of going through the swab testing and 14-day mandatory quarantine that she herself has imposed on Davao-bound passengers to control the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection.

Father and daughter in Davao City in December 2019. MindaNews file photo by MANMAN DEJETO

During her live interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Wednesday, Carpio, who attended the previous SONAs except for last year, said she would rather stay in the city than travel to Manila to watch her father address the nation.

“Not now, not in the time of the pandemic,” she said.

The local chief executive said she does not want to get swabbed for the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test and undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine upon returning to the city.

“None, I don’t have plans of getting RT-PCR test when I return to Davao. It’s one thing that I do not want to do because I heard it’s very uncomfortable. I have never tried getting tested through RT-PCR,” she said.

Carpio put herself on self-quarantine last March 12, a day after her meeting in Manila with Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, who came in direct contact with a COVID-19 patient, to discuss “important matters for Davao City.”

“And of course, I would have to be in quarantine for 14 days, so that is something that I do not want to do again because I have already experienced that,” she said.

Unlike in previous SONAs, the local government will no longer stream live Duterte’s SONA on Monday to avoid gathering of people.

But Carpio encouraged the Dabawenyos to listen to the President’s speech to get informed on the efforts of the national government, particularly the Executive Branch, to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

The latest COVID-19 cases of the Davao Region were returning residents from Manila.

Of the 23 new cases reported on July 21, nine of whom are locally stranded individuals, four returning overseas Filipinos, and 10 local cases.

As of Tuesday, the Department of Health-Davao reported a total of 993 cases with 43 deaths and 552 recoveries. Of the total cases, 702 are in Davao City, 100 in Davao del Norte, 36 in Davao del Sur, 67 in Davao de Oro, 77 in Davao Oriental, and 11 in Davao Occidental. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)