July 19, 2018, 12:03 am
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Ormoc City, Leyte town under state of calamity

PRESIDENT Duterte has declared a state of calamity in Ormoc City and the municipality of Kanaga in Leyte to hasten recovery and rehabilitation efforts in areas still reeling from the effects of a 6.5 magnitude earthquake last month.

The President, in signing Proclamation No. 283 on August 7, said the move aims to provide the government “ample latitude to utilize appropriate funds for rescue, recovery, relief and rehabilitation efforts.”

Under the order, the concerned government agencies, including the affected local government units (LGUs), are directed to implement and execute rescue, recovery, relief and rehabilitation work in accordance with pertinent operational plans and directives.

The agencies are also directed to coordinate with, and provide or augment the basic services and facilities of the affected LGUs, while law enforcement agencies, with support from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), were instructed to undertake measures to ensure peace and order in the affected areas.

The proclamation order also effectively implements a price control on basic goods and commodities, and price ceilings could be imposed.

This developed as the President also issued Administrative Order No. 5, which establishes an inter-agency task force co-chaired by the Cabinet Secretary and the Presidential Assistants for the Visayas, and for Special Concerns, that would oversee a unified implementation and monitoring of rehabilitation and recovery programs in the Yolanda affected areas.

The Task Force, named IATF-Yolanda, includes the secretaries of agriculture, budget, education, environment, interior, public works, social welfare, and trade as members.

The other members are the heads of the National Economic and Development Authority, Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, National Housing Authority, Land Registration Authority, Local Waterworks Utilities Administration, National Electrification Administration, National Irrigation Administration, and Philippine Coconut Authority.

The AO states that the Task Force shall “serve as the overall and central coordination committee of all executive departments, agencies, bureaus, government-owned or -controlled corporations, and other instrumentalities (hereinafter collectively known as “Government Agencies”) in relation to the various aspects of implementation and monitoring of the rehabilitation and recovery programs in Yolanda-affected areas.”
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