President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. is not keen on lifting the state of public health emergency in the Philippines due to Covid-19 until the end of the year.
In an interview with reporters in Manila on Wednesday, August 17, the President explained that doing so would mean losing support from the international community.
"Maraming mga binibigay sa international medical community kapag state of emergency. WHO (World Health Organization) is one of them. At kung itigil natin 'yung state of emergency, matitigil yun (The international medical community, including the WHO, is supporting countries under a state of emergency. If we lift it, the support will stop, as well)," he said.
"We are looking at amending the law in terms of procurement and all of that in the middle of an emergency," he added.
However, Marcos said amending procurement laws would take time, hence his decision to keep the state of public health emergency until the end of 2022.
"But that will take time. So malamang, we will extend (We would probably extend) it until the end of the year," he said.
He added that he had discussions with the Department of Health (DOH) officer-in-charge Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire about the situation.
Meanwhile, the State of Calamity in the entire Philippines due to Covid-19 will expire on September 12. According to Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles, President Marcos was only waiting for the recommendation of the DOH before deciding on the matter.
Former President Rodrigo Duterte declared the State of Calamity in the entire country due to the coronavirus through Proclamation No. 1218.
Last week, Marcos met with the DOH officials to get updates on the country's Covid-19 situation and to see the preparations for preventing the spread of monkeypox and dengue.
Marcos had just received his second Covid-19 booster shot in Manila on Wednesday. Before this, he encouraged the public to do the same as the booster shots would help in restoring normalcy in the country.