President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he could order state forces to take over hotels if the country’s problem of Covid-19 bed shortage would continue to persist.

However, he said he would only consider ordering so “when we are pushed to the wall.”

“Huwag na ‘yang masyadong ano ‘yong mga lack of material resources, for example the beds, nandiyan ‘yan and we can make a go for — for as many as kailangan,” he said in a televised address.

“You look I can even use the power of the police power of the state. You know what? I can order the authorities to take over the operations of hotels kung wala na talagang mga kama. Madali iyan. Hindi talaga problema ‘yan,” he added.

Duterte asserted that he was not without power and that he could also order state forces to take over medicine warehouses.

“But that is not really what you would call a remedy desired in a democratic state,” he said.

Nationwide, 256 health facilities are critically occupied. The “critical” branding is given to hospitals whose facilities are more than 85 percent occupied.

Ninety-seven health facilities are at high risk or are 70 to 84 percent occupied and 70 facilities are at moderate occupancy, with 60 to 69 percent of their facilities occupied.

The majority of the country’s health facilities are at the safe level or have less than 60 percent occupancy rates. John Ezekiel J. Hirro