COVID-19

Duterte extends state of calamity due to coronavirus until September 2021

Pia Ranada
Duterte extends state of calamity due to coronavirus until September 2021

Workers commuting on bicycles pass by augmentation buses for train passengers near a train station in Manila on June 1, 2020. - Hordes of cars and workers poured into the Philippine capital on June 1 after its strict virus lockdown was eased despite a spike in new cases, but as the nation must revive its bruised economy. (Photo by Ted ALJIBE / AFP)

The one-year extension allows the national and local governments to use their Quick Response Funds and control the prices of basic goods

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte extended the declaration of a state of calamity throughout the country due to the coronavirus pandemic until September 12, 2021.

The President signed Proclamation No 1021 on Wednesday, September 16, after the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) recommended an extension of the state of calamity Duterte declared in March 16.

That March declaration placed the Philippines in a state of calamity for 6 months or until September 16. Rather than another 6-month extension, Duterte made his new declaration last for an entire year.

With the state of calamity declaration, the national government and local governments will be able to use their Quick Response Funds to address the COVID-19 health crisis.

It also allows the government to monitor and control prices of basic necessities and prime commodities at a time when merchants could use the pandemic to jack up the cost of their goods.

According to the proclamation, Duterte’s state of calamity declaration is effective September 13 until September 12, 2021 “unless earlier lifted or extended as circumstances may warrant.”

The global pandemic is seen to stretch until at least next year with cases continuing to rise, and the long process it will still take for a safe vaccine to be distributed to a significant number of people.

Duterte recently signed a law providing funds of up to P165 billion to be used for testing, contact tracing, protecting health workers, and providing assistance to businesses that suffered from quarantine measures imposed to curb the virus. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.