President Rodrigo Duterte declared a State of Public Health Emergency in the Philippines due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) on Monday.
Under Proclamation No. 922, all government agencies and local government units are directed to render full assistance and cooperation and mobilize the necessary resources to combat the threat of COVID-19.
Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, mentioned in a Senate hearing that he recommended the declaration of public health emergency to the president.
He shared that the president will meet with government agencies, experts, and the Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to discuss the government's response.
Go added that the declaration would allow the utilization of local disaster funds, travel restrictions, mandatory quarantine, among others. The declaration would also serve as a basis for a possible price freeze and would expand the membership of the IATF-EID.
Go added that the country needs a “whole-of-society approach” in preventing the spread of the COVID-19.
He also commended frontliners, health workers, and repatriation teams.
Further, Go called on the different agencies such as the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Labor and Employment to assist Filipinos whose lives are affected by the virus.