Sun, 25 Oct 2020

MANILA, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has extended a state of calamity for a year amid the spike of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the country, the government said on Friday.

Duterte declared a state of national calamity for six months in mid-March as the country strengthened its response to the pandemic.

"I, hereby extended the declared state of calamity throughout the Philippines for a period of one year, effective September 13, 2020, to September 12, 2021, unless earlier lifted or extended as circumstance may warrant," read the proclamation that Duterte signed on Wednesday but was released to the media on Friday.

The proclamation said the extension will, among others, "effectively afford the national government, as well as local government units (LGUs), ample latitude to continue utilizing 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."

The Philippines continues to grapple with a surging number of COVID-19 cases despite the imposition since mid-March of varying degrees of lockdown measures that shut down 75 percent of the economy.

The Philippines now has 279,526 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 4,830 deaths and 208,790 recoveries.

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