UNION of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) National President and Quirino Gov. Dax Cua welcomed news that the Palace would be extending the nationwide state of calamity, and said on Thursday that the move would enable local government units (LGUs) to sustain efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.
Cua pointed out that the extension of the state of calamity would allow LGUs to continuously utilize the DRRM Quick Reaction Fund (QRF) to finance appropriate local response measures.
According to the former legislator, “the circumstances that led to the declaration of a State of Calamity on March 16 remain present, and it’s clear that we need to extend it as it expired last Tuesday, September 15.”
President Rodrigo Duterte signed Proclamation No. 929 “Declaring a State of Calamity Throughout the Philippines Due to Corona Virus Disease” on March 16, 2020.
The declaration, among others, mandates the national government and LGUs to “utilize appropriate funds, including the Quick Response Fund, in their disaster preparedness and response efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 and to continue to provide basic services to the affected population.”
Proclamation No. 929 also enjoins government agencies and LGUs “to render full assistance to and cooperation with each other and mobilize the necessary resources to undertake critical, urgent, and appropriate disaster response aid and measures in a timely manner to curtail and eliminate the threat of COVID-19.”
It likewise allows LGUs to fast-track the procurement of essential goods and services necessary in COVID-19 response efforts.
Cua had earlier written Secretary of National Defense and National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 Chairperson Delfin Lorenzana, and had urged the National Disaster and Risk Reduction Council (NDRRMC) to adopt a resolution recommending that the President extend the state of calamity for at least another four to six months.
The ULAP head stressed that this was necessary as “the country’s LGUs should be empowered to adopt any and all measures to combat COVID-19 since we are at the frontlines of this campaign.”
“Tuloy-tuloy ang pagsisikap at pakikipagtulungan para di kumalat ang COVID-19. Extending the state of calamity gives us the resources we need to overcome this pandemic and properly care for all our constituents.”