Possible extension of Covid-19 state of calamity under discussion between DOH, Malacañang


The Department of Health (DOH) and the Malacañang Palace are currently discussing the possibility of extending the Covid-19 state of calamity.

“Ngayon, tayo ay nakikipag-usap sa Office of the President kung ano yung best option natin since magi-expire na ang state of calamity by the end of this year (Now, we are talking to the Office of the President about what would be the best option since the state of calamity will expire by the end of this year),” said DOH Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire in a press briefing on Tuesday, Dec. 20.

“Kanina sa cabinet meeting, nakipagusap ako kay ES Bersamin kung ano ang best way natin. We are now trying to discuss this and nagsubmit na tayo ng (Earlier in the cabinet meeting, I talked with ES Bersamin about what would be our best way. We are now trying to discuss this and we have submitted a) memo for the President and we will await for their response,” she added.

This discussion is being raised since the Philippine Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) bill “has not been elevated to the senate yet,” said Vergeire.

Vergeire said that the senators have “committed to the President that they are supportive of this bill.”

“ don't think there will be any issues at all into enacting this law. Nagka problem tayo sa timeline,” said Vergeire.

On Dec. 14, the senate adjourned its session to go on break in time for the Christmas season. Regular session will resume on Jan. 23, 2023.

Last Dec. 12, the House of Representatives approved on final reading the proposed measure of creating a CDC.

To note, the DOH is pushing for the approval of the CDC bill to continue the country’s programs for Covid-19 that are currently aligned with the state of calamity.

This includes the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines, implement vaccination, and provide benefits to health workers even without the declaration of a state of calamity.