President Rodrigo Duterte (Presidential photo)

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has extended the declaration of a state of calamity throughout the Philippines for one more year due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

In Proclamation No. 1021 signed on Sept. 16 and released on Friday, Duterte extended the state of calamity “for a period of one year”, or from Sept. 13, 2020 to Sept. 12, 2021, “unless earlier lifted or extended as circumstances may warrant”.

Duterte said that while “significant strides” have been achieved to strengthen the country’s efforts to fight the spread of the virus, Covid-19 cases continue to increase in the country.

“The number of Covid-19 positive cases and deaths continue to rise despite efforts and interventions to contain the same,” the proclamation read.

Duterte said the extension would allow the national government, as well as local government units (LGUs), to continue using the “appropriate funds, including the Quick Response Fund, in their disaster preparedness and response efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19, monitor and control prices of basic necessities and prime commodities, and provide basic services to the affected populations”.

Under the proclamation, all government agencies and LGUs are enjoined to cooperate and mobilize the necessary resources to “undertake critical, urgent, and appropriate disaster response aid and measures in a timely manner to curtail and eliminate the threat of Covid-19.”

Law enforcement agencies, with the support of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, were also directed to continue undertaking all necessary measures “to ensure peace and order” in affected areas.

In March, Duterte signed Proclamation 929 that placed the entire Philippines under a state of calamity for six months due to the Covid-19 health crisis.

The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday reported a total of 279,526 Covid-19 cases, with 65,906 active cases, 208,790 recoveries and 4,830 deaths. (PNA)

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