Palace to Nayong Pilipino execs: Don’t go against President’s wish to protect lives


The Palace on Monday warned the Nayong Pilipino Foundation (NPF)—a government-owned and -controlled corporation (GOCC)—against opposing President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to build a COVID-19 vaccination site on NPF land, saying the health of Filipinos is at stake.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque expressed this position in the aftermath of Lucille Karen Malilong-Isberto's quitting her post as Nayong Pilipino executive director in opposition to the planned construction of the vaccination center, which would mean chopping down 500 trees.

“Wala po akong balita kung inaccept [na ng Presidente] ang resignation. Pero ang panawagan po natin sa board ng Nayong Pilipino, lahat po ng GOCC nasa ilalim pa rin ng supervision ng Presidente,” Roque said.

[I don’t know if her resignation was accepted by the President. But our statement to the Nayong Pilipino board is that all GOCCs are under the supervision of the President.]

“Sana naman ang desisyon nila ay 'wag kokontra sa napakahalagang misyong pangalagaan ang buhay ng ating mga kababayan. This is part of the inherent police powers of the state,” Roque added.

[I hope their decision will not run counter to the very important mission of taking care of the lives of our people.]


National Task Force Against COVID-19 Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez, Jr. earlier said that the NPF officials should give more importance to the lives of the populace over some 500 trees, arguing that the area is not even a marine sanctuary but reclaimed land.

The Nayong Pilipino site is one of the few large green areas remaining in Metro Manila, and is near the Las Piñas–Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area, an important biodiversity spot.

Galvez’s position echoed that of billionaire Enrique Razon Jr., whose charitable firm ICTSI Foundation will be bankrolling the vaccination site expected to accommodate at least 12,000 people in a day.

The government’s COVID-19 vaccination program started last March 1, but less than five percent of the population have been vaccinated largely due to lack of vaccine supply. — BM, GMA News