The government is committed to further strengthen efforts to reduce impact of coronavirus, improve the country’s healthcare system, and accelerate economic recovery, President Duterte said in a report to Congress.
The President recognized that the “significant strides” have been attained in the fight against coronavirus pandemic but the country’s cases continued to increase.
Duterte made the latest pronouncement when he presented his first monthly report to Congress on the implementation of Republic Act No. 11494 or the “Bayanihan to Recover as One Act” as required by the law.
The 21-page report of the President on the Bayanihan 2 law was released by the Palace Monday night.
“Through RA No. 11464, we shall sustain and enhance our efforts to strengthen our capabilities to implement programs and projects which, among others, seek to (1) reduce the adverse socioeconomic impact of COVID-19; (2) enhance the capacity of the Philippine health care system to control and eliminate COVID-19; (3) accelerate the recovery and bolster the resilience of the Philippine economy; and (4) enhance fiscal and monetary policies to sustain COVID-19 measures,” he said.
The Bayanihan 2 law, signed by the President last month, provides for the COVID response and recovery interventions as well as mechanisms to accelerate economic recovery. The measure includes P140 billion in regular appropriations and P25.5 billion in standby funds.
In his report, the President has extended his “utmost gratitude” to Congress for the passage of the Bayanihan 2 law.
He noted that the government has implemented “necessary and effective measures” to address the health emergency under Republic Act No. 11469 or the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.” He said concerned agencies sustained the pandemic response despite the expiry of the first Bayanihan law.
Duterte, in the same report to Congress, explained his decision to extend the calamity declaration throughout the country until September 2021.
“It has been six months from the declaration of the state of public health emergency throughout the Philippines,” he said.
“Through the joint efforts of the government and the public, significant strides have been achieved in enhancing and improving the country’s capability to implement measures against the spread of COVID-19. This notwithstanding, the number of COVID-19 positive cases continues to rise,” he said.
Given the situation, Duterte said he extended the state of calamity for a period of one year, effective Sept. 13 to Sept. 12, 2021 “unless earlier lifted or extended as circumstances may warrant.”
Duterte also said his latest report to Congress contains the development related to the “whole-of-government” response to the coronavirus pandemic. The report, he said, includes updates on programs and activities of 50 departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the Executive branch, most of which were reported to the Office of the Executive Secretary on Oct. 2.
As of October 5, the country has recorded 324,762 coronavirus cases with 273,123 recoveries and 5,840 deaths.