MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte declared a state of calamity in the Philippines as cases of the novel coronavirus in the country continue to rise.
Duterte signed Proclamation No. 929 on Monday, March 16, placing the country under a state of calamity for 6 months, “unless earlier lifted or extended as circumstances may warrant.”
The copy of the proclamation was only sent to the media on Tuesday, March 17.
The proclamation also officially declared enhanced community quarantine over the entire island of Luzon.
Duterte also directed all government agencies and local government units (LGUs) to “render full assistance and cooperation” with each other, and mobilize resources to battle COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
The President ordered law enforcement agencies, with the support of the military, to undertake all necessary measures to “ensure peace and order in the affected areas.”
The declaration of a state of calamity allows local governments to tap into their quick response funds for relief efforts.
Before the President’s proclamation, at least 8 LGUs in Luzon have already declared a state of calamity in their respective jurisdictions. (READ: LUZON: Provinces, cities, towns under lockdown, state of calamity)
As of writing, there are 187 coronavirus cases in the Philippines, majority of which are in Manila. Four people have already recovered from the virus, while 12 have died. Globally, there are more than 175,000 cases, with over 7,000 deaths across 145 countries. – Rappler.com