President Rodrigo Duterte should not be spending “too much time” working “at the sacrifice of his health” for the remaining three years of his term, Malacañang said Friday
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said all members of the Cabinet had observed that the “tired” Duterte needed some time out from the presidency.
“He’s working too hard, and we told him so. ‘Mr. President, you should go on a vacation for at least two weeks.’ And he said, ‘How can I go on a vacation when my work has piled up?’” Panelo said.
He said a proper work-life balance was the only area that the President should improve on following his high trust and approval ratings.
“He should not be spending too much time attending to all his activities at the sacrifice of his health,” Panelo said.
He said the members of the Cabinet brought up the suggestion as they observed a seemingly fatigued Duterte after attending a series of engagements.
“He doesn’t have any ailment but he’s always tired… He’s always moving,” Panelo said.
“He [also] lacks sleep because he’s a night person, and then you will make him speak at 8 o’clock in the morning. He’ll really have a hard time.”
Panelo said they, as Duterte’s alter egos, “can hardly catch up with his work schedule.”
“But health-wise, the President is strong,” Panelo said. “He’s not burnout, he’s just too hard-working.”
Two months ago, the rumors sparked again after the 74-year-old President was away from the public eye for a week following the midterm elections on May 13. The rumors said Duterte was hospitalized at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center after suffering a heart attack.
Panelo then quickly shot down the speculations, saying Duterte was just signing papers in his residence at the Bahay Pagbabago in the Malacañang Complex.
Also, Duterte skipped an engagement with barangay officials in Leyte in February this year for he was “not feeling well.”
Panelo said the public should praise the President “for knowing when to cancel a trip and resting his body if he is not feeling his usual strong self.
“He is not Superman. Every person does not feel well sometimes. I don’t think that the President canceling an event because he is not feeling well is a cause of concern.”
For over three years, Duterte’s state of health has been a favorite topic of speculation from his critics and detractors.
The Palace then dismissed every single one of them, even repeatedly shrugging off calls for Duterte’s medical bulletin.
The President, however, has admitted suffering from back pain, migraines, and Buerger’s disease.
The Palace had also said before that Duterte would step down from his post once he was “dying or gravely ill.”
Duterte will once again be in the public eye on Monday when he delivers his fourth State of the Nation Address.