Philippines under state of calamity due to COVID-19

By: Roni Mae Serrano
March 17, 2020

Photos from Patrick Romero

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte places the Philippines under a state of calamity due to the COVID-19 pandemic as the number of confirmed cases continues to rise despite the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.

According to Proclamation No. 929 signed on March 16, Monday, the Philippines will be placed under a state of calamity for six months. However, depending on the situation might be lifted earlier or extended as circumstances may warrant.

Placing the country under a state of calamity allows the government, national and local, to utilize their quick response funds to combat the virus and provide assistance to the affected areas.

Proclamation No. 929 states that  “All government agencies and local government units are enjoined to render full assistance to and cooperation with each other and mobilize the necessary resources to undertake critical, urgent, and appropriate disaster response aid and measures in a timely manner to curtail and eliminate the threat of COVID-19.”

The Proclamation also orders all law enforcement groups, with the support of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, to “undertake all necessary measures to ensure the peace and order of the affected areas.”

Before placing the country under a state of calamity, the Department of Health reported 45 new confirmed cases, bringing 187 total tallies of COVID-19 cases earlier today.

Cabinet Secretary, Karlo Nograles, said in an interview with ABS-CBN News that additional guidelines will be stated in a press conference after meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force.