THE PRESIDENTIAL palace on Monday said it would probably extend the effectivity of a proclamation putting the country in a state of emergency amid a coronavirus pandemic.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte might release another order for the extension, his spokesman Harry L. Roque told an online news briefing on Monday. The proclamation will lapse on Sept. 16.
“Most likely, while there is no COVID-19 vaccine yet, the state of health emergency will continue,” he said in Filipino.
Mr. Duterte signed Proclamation 929 on March 16 declaring a state of calamity in the Philippines due to the COVID-19 crisis.
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) this week said the local disaster agency had endorsed a six-month extension to the President. Budget officials earlier ordered local governments to use COVID-19 funds by Sept. 16 unless the President releases a new proclamation extending the state of national emergency.
The President locked down the entire Luzon island in mid-March, suspending work, classes and public transportation to contain the pandemic. “The Philippine has one of the longest lockdowns in the world. People should stay home except to buy food and other basic goods,” he said. — Gillian M. Cortez