MANILA - Quezon City was placed under a state of calamity Friday ahead of the start of Metro Manila's community quarantine amid the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
In a public address, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said "it has to be done" to allow the city, Metro Manila's biggest, to access quick response funds to effectively address the public health crisis.
"The president has himself declared a state of public health emergency and this gives us enough basis to declare a state of calamity here in our city," said Belmonte in a public address.
"Sa laki at lawak ng lungsod kinakailangan po talaga ng suporta ng 142 barangays, if we are to successfully conquer this disease and if we are to successfully carry out our mandate," she said.
(With the expanse of the city, we really need to support our 142 barangays if we are to successfully conquer this disease and if we are to successfully carry out our mandate.)
Quezon City accounts for 25 percent of Metro Manila by land area, Belmonte said. It had 2.94 million residents in 2015, the most densely populated city in the capital region, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.
To date, the city has 6 confirmed COVID-19 cases out of the country's total 52, based on data from the health department,
President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday night said Metro Manila would be placed under community quarantine starting Sunday until April 14, barring land, domestic air and sea travel to and from the capital.
The declaration was based on a resolution of the interagency task force on the COVID-19 response, which also discourages mass gatherings, extends class suspension in Metro Manila schools until April 12, cancels work in the executive branch and encourages the private sector to allow employees to work from home.
More details to follow.