Duterte extends COVID-19 state of calamity by 1 year

  • 1 month ago
Duterte extends COVID-19 state of calamity by 1 year

President Duterte has extended for one more year the declaration of a state of calamity in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, effective Sept. 13 this year to Sept. 12, 2021.

Duterte signed on Wednesday Proclamation 1021, “extending the period of state of calamity throughout the Philippines due to Coronavirus Disease 2019” that was released to the media yesterday.

The move extended the state of calamity first imposed by the President on March 16.

Duterte invoked the authority under the Constitution on the state’s policy to protect and promote the right to health of the people.

“Whereas, through the joint efforts of the government and the public, significant strides have been achieved in enhancing and improving the country’s capability to implement measures against the spread of COVID-19,” the two-page order read.

The President added that the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council has recommended the extension of the declared state of calamity throughout the Philippines.

“Whereas, this extension, will, among others, effectively afford the National Government, as well as the local government units, ample latitude to continue utilizing appropriate funds, including the Quick Response Fund, in their disaster preparedness and response efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, monitor and control prices of basic necessities and prime commodities, and provide basic services to the affected populations,” Duterte said in the proclamation.

 

It also noted that the number of COVID-19 positive cases and deaths “continue to rise despite efforts and interventions to contain the same.”

The President’s move came after presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. declared that the worst is over on COVID-19 in the country, even boasting about the Philippines having the best testing capacity in the region, outdoing South Korea and Japan.

However, COVID-19 testing czar Vince Dizon and contact tracing czar Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong have both recognized the need for the government, with the cooperation of the public, to pursue measures to adapt to the situation by further strengthening the government’s efforts on the healthcare system, social distancing as well as contact tracing measures.

Duterte has acknowledged that the pandemic will remain until a vaccine against COVID-19 has been developed, which is now being done by other countries.

He said the Philippines has limited access since other countries, especially the affluent ones, are also securing vaccines for their citizens.

 

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