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Seryosong trabaho ‘to! Duterte declares state of calamity in Ormoc, Kananga to speed up rehab efforts

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President Rodrigo Duterte has declared a state of calamity in Ormoc City and the municipality of Kanaga in Leyte to hasten government recovery and rehabilitation efforts in the said areas that are still reeling from the effects of a powerful earthquake that hit the area last month.

The declaration was issued through Proclamation No. 283 that the President signed last August 7.

On July 6, a magnitude 6.5 earthquake hit Ormoc City and the town of Kanaga in Leyte causing at least four deaths and injuries to more than a hundred others.

The earthquake also caused major damage to property and public infrastructure in the two areas as well as the displacement of many individuals and families.

Power outages were felt in large parts of Eastern Visayas after the strong tremor struck.

Duterte’s declaration effectively implements a price control on basic goods and commodities and price ceilings could be imposed.

As provided under RA 7581, otherwise known as the Price Act or the National Price Coordinating Council, “Price freeze for basic necessities is implemented for 60 days unless lifted… Prices of basic necessities in areas under a state of calamity shall automatically be frozen at their prevailing prices or placed under automatic price control whenever.”

Under RA 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, Section 17(a) provides for the “imposition of a price ceiling on basic necessities and prime commodities by the President upon the recommendation of the implementing agency as provided for under RA 7581.”

Duterte said the declaration would also “afford the government ample latitude to utilize appropriate funds for rescue, recovery, relief and rehabilitation efforts.”

In view of this, the President ordered all departments and concerned government agencies, including the affected local government units (LGUs), to implement and execute rescue, recovery, relief and rehabilitation work in accordance with pertinent operational plans and directives.

“All departments and concerned government agencies are also hereby directed to coordinate with, and provide or augment the basic services and facilities, of affected LGUs,” the proclamation read.

Law enforcement agencies, with support from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), were also directed to undertake all necessary measures to ensure peace and order in the affected areas.

The state of calamity will remain in force until lifted by Duterte. (PNA)