Duterte declares state of public health emergency following COVID-19 local transmission
President Rodrigo Duterte has issued a proclamation declaring a state of public health emergency throughout the Philippines following the confirmed local transmission of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.
"The outbreak of COVID-19 constitutes an emergency and threatens national security which requires a whole-of-government response aligned with the Four-Door Framework for COVID-19 of the Department of Health and the efforts of all concerned government agencies and local government units," Proclamation No. 922, which Duterte issued on March 8, a copy of which was released on Monday.
The Department of Health ( DOH) has confirmed 10 COVID-19 cases in the country, four of them Sunday night.
With the declaration of a state of public health emergency, the Proclamation said this would facilitate the implementation of relevant provisions of Republic Act No. 11332, known as the "Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act."
The declaration would also allow government agencies and local government units to immediately act to prevent loss of life, utilize appropriate resources to implement urgent and critical measures to contain or prevent the spread of COVID-19, mitigate its effects and impact to the community, and prevent serious disruption of the functioning of the government and the community.
"All government agencies and LGUs are hereby enjoined to render full assistance and cooperation and mobilize the necessary resources to undertake critical, urgent, and appropriate response and measures in a timely manner to curtail and eliminate the COVID-19 threat," the Proclamation read.
The Secretary of Health was also given the authority to call upon the Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies to provide assistance in addressing the COVID-19 threat.
Duterte also urged the public, including tourists and establishment owners to "act within the bounds of the law and to comply with lawful directives and advisories" to be issued by appropriate government agencies to prevent further transmission of the virus and ensure the safety and well-being of everyone.
The state of public health emergency shall remain in force and effect until lifted or withdrawn by the President. Celerina Monte/DMS