MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday night placed Luzon island, home to about half of the country's 108 million people, under a state of calamity due to a series of cyclones, the latest of which triggered the worst flooding in years and left dozens dead.
A state of calamity will allow local officials to tap emergency funds and impose a price freeze on basic goods.
"Last night I think I signed the proclamation," Duterte said.
The President made the declaration days after he flew to Cagayan Valley region, where weather disturbances and a dam's huge release of water affected thousands of families, some of whom fled to rooftops to escape 2-story high floods.
The disaster council earlier recommended a state of calamity in Luzon after Ulysses, the fifth storm to hit the Philippines since October, killed at least 73 people.