TABUK CITY, March 19 – The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) approved a resolution recommending to the city legislative body the declaration of the city under a state of calamity because of the effects of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) on the economic activities, the livelihood and the lives of the people in the province.
The resolution disclosed the City Health Office identified some 577 persons under monitoring (PUMs) and 1 person under investigation (PUI) in the city recently that warrants the declaration of the city under a state of calamity to allow the city government to implement appropriate measures that will prevent the spread of the deadly virus in the city.
Further, the resolution added some members of the city’s inter-agency task force COVID-19 who are conducting surveillance checkpoints in different entry points of the city lack the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), thus, the declaration of the city under a state of calamity will allow the city government to have a more concrete basis for taking the proper quick response action in the different barangays that seek the augmentation of supplies from concerned authorities before the situation worsens.
Last March 9, 2020, President Rodrigo Duterte issued Proclamation No. 922 that declared a state of public health emergency in the country due to the COVID-19 threat, then on March 16, 2020, President Duterte place the entire Luzon under a state of enhanced community quarantine based on the worldwide trends and the need for extreme cushion during such times as the COVID-19 outbreak.
National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Memorandum 60, series of 2019, provides that when there is an extremely high incidence of a certain disease, whether communicable or non-communicable, within a community in a specific period of time, specific health-related behavior or other health-related events clearly beyond normal expectations, the declaration of state of calamity is warranted.
Moreover, the NDRRMC, DBM and DILG Joint Memorandum Circular provided that the provision of emergency services and public assistance during or immediately after a disaster to save lives, reduce negative health impacts, ensure public safety and meet the basic subsistence needs of the people affected, disaster response will be predominantly focused on immediate and short-term needs is mandated.
According to prevailing rules and regulations, the release of the 30 percent Quick Response Fund (QRF) of local governments should be supported by a resolution of the concerned local legislative body declaring the locality under a state of calamity or a presidential declaration of the state of calamity upon recommendation of the NDRRMC or the concerned local disaster risk reduction and management council.
Mayor Darwin C. Estrañero expressed optimism that the city legislative body will formally act on the recommendation anytime so that the city government can maximize the use of the city’s available QRF for the emerging needs of the people during the declared enhanced community quarantine considering its heavy impact to the current economic activities, sources of livelihood and the living condition of the people in the city’s barangays.