Thursday, March 19, 2020

Philippines Under State of Calamity Due to Coronavirus

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides over a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases at the MalacaƱan Palace on March 16, 2020. KARL NORMAN ALONZO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has placed the entire Philippines under state of calamity for six months in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), which at present, has infected more than 200 people.

Under Proclamation No. 929 signed by President Duterte Monday, the Chief Executive mandated all government agencies and local government units (LGUs) to render full assistance and cooperation with each other and to mobilize the necessary resources to eliminate the threat posed by COVID-19.

All law enforcement agencies, with the support of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), are directed to implement measures to ensure peace and order in affected areas.

The President also directed the executive and health secretaries and all other department heads to issue guidelines governing the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine throughout Luzon that he announced on Monday.

President Duterte imposed the enhanced community quarantine throughout Luzon to contain COVID-19 after a similar measure imposed in Metro Manila last week failed to limit public activities and encourage people to stay home.

The President’s proclamation enables LGUs to utilize their quick response fund (QRF) for disaster preparedness to halt the contagion and provide basic services to affected population.

The government has raised the Code Alert System for COVID-19 to Code Red Sublevel 2 based on the recommendation of the Department of Health (DOH) and the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

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