PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has extended until next year the state of calamity declaration in the country due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
Proclamation 1021, signed by the President on September 16, stated that the national state of calamity is extended until September 12, 2021, "unless earlier lifted or extended as circumstances may warrant."
Duterte first declared a six-month national state of calamity on March 16, 2020. The announcement was made just two days after he placed Metro Manila under lockdown due to the increasing number of Covid-19 cases in the metro.
Proclamation 1021 cited that despite the interventions made to contain the Covid-19, the number of coronavirus infections and deaths continue to rise in the country.
As of the September 18, the Department of Health recorded a total of 279,526 confirmed cases, with 3,257 new cases reported in one day.
The deaths also increased to 4,830, with 47 additional mortalities recorded Friday, September 18. The number of those who have recovered has climbed to 208,790, with 733 new recoveries announced on the same day.
With this and pursuant to Republic Act 10121, or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, Duterte said the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council has recommended the extension of the state of calamity status.
Duterte said the extension is necessary to "effectively afford the National Government, as well as local government units (LGUs) ample latitude to continue utilizing appropriate funds" to address the pandemic.
This means that the government can use the Quick Response Fund in its disaster preparedness and response efforts to contain the spread of the virus.
The extension will also allow the government to monitor and control the prices of basic necessities and prime commodities, and provide basic services to the affected population.
Duterte also directed all government agencies and LGUs to continue to render full assistance to the effected residents and cooperate with each other, as well as mobilize resources to undertake measures against Covid-19.
He said all law enforcement agencies, with the support from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, are directed to continue to undertake all necessary measures to ensure peace and order in affected areas.
The Covid-19 pandemic is seen to last until a vaccine is available. (SunStar Philippines)