Duterte approves Luzon-wide state of calamity

President Rodrigo Duterte said he approved a state of calamity covering the entire region of Luzon following the devastation of back-to-back typhoons Rolly (Goni) and Ulysses (Vamco).

"Mukhang napirmahan ko na ata (Looks like I signed it), last night I think, I signed the proclamation," said Duterte on Tuesday night, November 18, during a meeting with Cabinet members.

Duterte's approval of the state of calamity was confirmed by Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque to Rappler through text message.

On Wednesday evening, Malacañang released a copy of Proclamation No 1051, which says the state of calamity will remain in effect until Duterte lifts it.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) agreed to recommend a Luzon-wide state of calamity on Monday.

The declaration would make it easier for local governments in Luzon to access quick response or calamity funds, which for many localities have been depleted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It also triggers an automatic price freeze on essential goods to prevent unscrupulous businessmen from taking advantage of the surge in demand for them.

Super Typhoon Rolly caused widespread damage to agriculture and homes, especially in the Bicol region. Ulysses, a storm that came at Rolly's heels, brought floods to parts of Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon.

Northern parts of Cagayan Valley went under water when floods were strengthened by water released from the Magat Dam, killing more than a dozen people. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.