Marcos places Calabarzon, Bicol Region, Western Visayas, BARMM under a 6-month state of calamity

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. declared a State of Calamity in four regions that were devastated by Severe Tropical Storm “Paeng ” (international name: Nalgae). 

In his Proclamation No. 84, which he issued through Executive Secretary Lucas P. Bersamin last Wednesday, Marcos said the declaration will cover CALABARZON, Bicol Region, Western Visayas, and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). 

Over 1.4 million people in the said regions were adversely affected by the floods and landslides caused by Paeng.

“All government departments, agencies, and instrumentalities concerned are hereby directed to continue implementing and executing rescue, recovery, relief, and rehabilitation measures in accordance with pertinent operational plans and directions,” Marcos said in the two-page issuance.

The State of Calamity in the said regions will remain in effect for six months unless earlier lifted by the President.

In areas covered by Proclamation 84, the government may use calamity funds, impose price freeze for basic necessities and grant no-interest loans. 

Marcos said the areas covered by the proclamation may be expanded upon the recommendation of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and consistent with existing laws and issues.

NDRRMC initially recommended for the entire country to be placed under the State of Calamity for one year.

But Marcos rejected the proposal and instead limited the State of Calamity status to some provinces, which were severely affected by Paeng. 

Image credits: Philippine Coast Guard via AP