Cebu City placed under state of calamity

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio March 13,2020 - 08:56 PM
Establishments selling overpriced face masks may be ordered closed by the Cebu City government. |CDN Digital file photo

Establishments selling overpriced face masks may be ordered closed by the Cebu City government. |CDN Digital file photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City has been placed under a state of calamity following the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Vice Mayor Michael Rama announced in a press conference that the council had convened in a closed-door special session on Friday morning, March 13, 2020, to discuss the move of the council following the declaration of a State of Public Health Emergency in the country.

Rama said the council had decided to place the city under a state of calamity so emergency purchases could be made for immediate use.

“With the state of calamity, we can make emergency purchases to prevent the further spread of the COVID-19,” said Rama.

Read more: Labella mulls shorter workdays for Cebu City Hall

Placing a city under a state of calamity would mean that the local government unit (LGU) would have access to 70 percent of the disaster fund for the purchase of materials needed to alleviate the conditions of the “disaster.”

The spread of the COVID-19 can be considered as a disaster because it threatens public safety. The state of calamity will help the city deal with the spread of the virus more quickly.

Read more: Councilors in Central Visayas included in list of PUIs, PUMs

Currently, Cebu City is monitoring 28 persons under monitoring (PUMs), who are quarantined in their homes. They do not have symptoms of the virus, but they have travel history to COVID-19 affected countries and from Manila.

Dr. Daisy Villa, City Health Office chief, said they had difficulty purchasing some of the equipment including suits, face masks, gloves, goggles, and other protective public equipment despite the allotment of P15 million.

The declaring of a state of calamity would make the procurement faster through emergency purchasing.

The council also passed a resolution supporting the mayor for forming an inter-agency task force. The council members praised the mayor for the quick response amid the declaration of the state of a public health emergency.

The council also encouraged the public to follow the social distancing protocol, proper disinfection habits, and self-quarantine if they have fever, cold, or coughs. /dbs

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TAGS: calamity, Cebu City, COVID-19, Rama, state of public health emergency

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