Pimentel: COVID situation in PH no longer warrants state of calamity
MANILA, Philippines – As the pandemic-induced state of calamity is set to expire by yearend, Senate Minority Leader Koko Pimentel on Saturday said COVID-19 situation in the country is no longer causing any form of calamity.
Pimentel was asked about President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. expressing hesitation in keeping the Philippines under its current status as he argued that “we are not in a state of calamity anymore.”
READ: Marcos Jr. very hesitant to extend pandemic-induced state of calamity in PH
“I agree with the President. COVID-19, specifically, is no longer the cause of any ‘calamity’ here in the Philippines,” Pimentel told reporters.
Senate Majority Leader, meanwhile, expressed trust that “any decision that the President will make is science-based and follows global health standards, as reiterated in our last Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council meeting.”
“Our work is to continue to strengthen our healthcare system and spur the continuous growth of our economy even amidst threat of global recession and other economic shocks,” he said in a statement.
Villanueva noted that priority bills seeking the creation of the Philippines’ Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Medical Reserve Corps are already being tackled in the Senate.
The Department of Health (DOH) earlier said it has submitted a request for Marcos to extend the pandemic-induced state of calamity beyond Dec. 31, 2022 “in consideration of the fact that the CDC bill was not enacted on time.”
Once signed into law, the CDC bill will serve as legal grounds for the implementation of the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program and response for other public health emergencies without the need to place the country under a state of calamity.
Should the request of the DOH be approved, it will be the fourth extension of the state of calamity first declared by Marcos’ predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte, in March 2020.
READ: DOH seeks 4th state of calamity extension
But the Malacañang has yet to make known whether or not the President has decided to push for another extension of the state of calamity.
DOH urges Marcos to certify disease center bill as urgent
Group: State of calamity due to COVID-19 should be extended until Q1 of 2023
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For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.
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