President Rodrigo Duterte has extended for one year the country’s state of calamity status due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Proclamation No. 1021, signed by Duterte last September 16, states that the national state of calamity took effect on September 13 and will last until September 12, 2021, “unless earlier lifted or extended as circumstances may warrant.”
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The initial declaration was signed on March 17, just two days after he placed Metro Manila under lockdown, expired this week as it was only effective for six months.
It also cited the continuous surging of the COVID-19 cases and deaths in the Philippines despite the efforts and interventions made by the government. As of Friday, the country has logged 279,526 infections, 4,830 deaths, and 208,790 recoveries.
Duterte said the extension will “effectively afford the National Government, as well as 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.”
It will also allow the government to “monitor and control prices of basic necessities and prime commodities, and provide basic services to the affected populations.”
Just last week, Duterte signed into law the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2, which allows the government to use PHP 165.5 billion budget for pandemic response and recovery.