State of national calamity likely to be extended: Roque

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    THE six-month state of national calamity declared by President Duterte in March will “most likely” be extended as the country continues to suffer from the effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), presidential spokesman Harry Roque said yesterday.

    The declaration was contained in Executive Order No. 929 issued on March 16 or several days after the World Health Organization officially declared a COVID-19 pandemic.

    Roque said an extension is most likely because no cure for or vaccine against the disease has been developed.

    Under a state of calamity, all government agencies including local government units are tasked to cooperate and mobilize resources “to undertake and provide critical, urgent, and appropriate disaster response and measures.”

    When the declaration was made, Duterte noted that government observed that “despite the government interventions, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 continues to rise.”

    As of March 17, there were only 187 COVID-19 cases and 14 fatalities. As of yesterday, the Philippines has 265,888 cases with 4,630 deaths and 207,504 recoveries.