Palace extends State of Calamity in PH due to COVID-19 pandemic

President Duterte has signed Proclamation No.1218, which effectively extended the State of Calamity previously declared throughout the Philippines in connection with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

President Rodrigo Duterte (Malacañang photo)

The directive enforces an extension of one year to the State of Calamity, specifically from Sept. 13, 2021 to Sept. 12, 2022, "unless earlier lifted or extended as circumstances may warrant".

A copy of the declaration was sent Malacañang beat reporters on Friday night, Sept. 10, amid the current surge in daily COVID-19 infections.

"This declaration will, among others, effectively afford the national government, as well as local government units (LGUs), ample latitude to implement the COVID-19 vaccination program, utilize appropriate funds, including the Quick Response Fund, in their disaster preparedness and response efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19; monitor and control prices of basic necessities and prime commodities; and provide basic services to the affected populations," the two-page document read.

The extension of the State of Calamity declaration over the country was recommended by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) pursuant to Republic Act (RA) No.10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010.

It can be recalled that President Duterte signed last year Proclamation No.1021, which declared the State of Calamity in the country for a period of one year from Sept. 13, 2020 to Sept. 12, 2021. It, too, provided for the early lifting or extension of the declaration.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the pandemic in March 2020.

The Philippines was the first country last year to record a COVID-related fatality other than China, where the new coronavirus originated from.