President Duterte has placed the entire Luzon under a state of calamity to facilitate the swift relief and rehabilitation efforts in typhoon-hit communities.

duterte 1024x682 - President places entire Luzon under state of calamity
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (RICHARD MADELO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO)

In a televised address Tuesday night, the President said he has signed the proclamation on the calamity declaration as recommended by the disaster response authorities.

“Mukhang napirmahan ko na yata last night. I think I signed the proclamation,” Duterte said.

The President was responding to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana who reminded him about the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council’s recommendation on the Luzon-wide calamity declaration. The council earlier sought the calamity declaration to address the adverse impact of recent typhoons that battered areas in Luzon.

A calamity declaration will help speed up the relief and rebuilding efforts and give leeway in the fund releases.  It also allows the imposition of price control measures to ease the economic impact of the calamity on the people. 

Dozens of people died while thousands have been displaced from their homes after the powerful typhoons caused massive floods and landslides. Billions of pesos worth of storm damage to agriculture and infrastructure have also been reported by authorities.

The President earlier announced plans to create an inter-agency task force to supervise the swift rebuilding efforts of typhoon-hit areas. The Build Back Better Task Force will be led by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea with various government agencies as members.

Duterte had visited some calamity areas and promised the government will assist the storm victims recover from the calamity and return their lives to normalcy.

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