Marcos says to extend state of public health emergency until year-end

Marcos says to extend state of public health emergency until year-end
People wearing face masks as protection against the COVID-19 while inside the market in Marikina City.
STAR / Walter Bollozos

MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said Wednesday he will be extending the state of public health emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic until year-end.

Asked by a reporter whether he will lengthen the state of public health emergency, which is different from the state of national calamity also declared due to COVID-19, Marcos answered in the affirmative.

Saying that amending emergency procurement laws could take time, he told reporters at the sidelines of a vaccination event in Manila that “we will likely extend it (state of public health emergency) until the end of the year.”

RELATED: Marcos gets second COVID-19 booster shot, hopes Pinoys follow his lead

A state of public health emergency was first declared in March 2020 by then President Rodrigo Duterte in Proclamation No. 922 as the country logged its first 10 cases of COVID-19.

The proclamation provides that the state of public health emergency “shall remain in force and effect until lifted or withdrawn by the president.” This has never been lifted or withdrawn.

What is expiring on September 12 is the declaration of a state of calamity which allows national and local governments to tap into funds allocated for disasters to respond to the ongoing health crisis.

Duterte first declared a state of calamity due to COVID-19 on March 16, 2020, which was extended six months after its effectivity and extended anew for a year after that.

The Department of Health had warned that lifting the state of calamity would affect the emergency use authorizations granted to vaccines and medicines for COVID-19 and also the benefits enjoyed by healthcare workers. — Xave Gregorio



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