Marcos says 'very hesitant' to extend PH's state of calamity due to COVID-19

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 29 2022 07:10 PM

People wear face masks while others wear them improperly as they visit Plaza Miranda on September 9, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN Newes
People wear face masks while others wear them improperly as they visit Plaza Miranda on September 9, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN Newes

MANILA - President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. is "very hesitant" to extend the state of calamity in the country due to COVID-19, saying the situation now is far from that. 

In an interview with Press Undersecretary Cheloy Garafil, Marcos said "we are not in a state of calamity anymore, technically speaking." 

"And that is the wrong mindset to be approaching the new year with. So we’re still trying to find ways to continue to provide the benefits to our medical health workers which is the main issue without the state of calamity," he said. 

This comes after the health department urged Marcos to extend the state of calamity in the country due to COVID-19. This has been extended earlier this year. 

Some benefits under this were the release of indemnification packages, emergency procurement, and the special risk allowance for health care workers. 

It also enabled the continuity of some government programs like the following: 

• COVID-19 vaccination program
• utilization of appropriate funds, including the Quick Response Fund
• monitoring and controlling prices of basic necessities and prime commodities; and,
• provision of basic services to affected population

Health officer-in-charge Rosette Vergeire earlier said should the state of calamity be lifted by year-end, "we will be losing the different response strategies that we are doing right now."

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