MANILA, Sept 15 (Mabuhay) — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday welcomed President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr.’s move to extend the country’s state of calamity due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

FREE SWAB TEST. Denmark De Vera, 44, avails of a free swab test for Covid-19 at the City Health Office 3, Barangay Salawag, City of Dasmarinas, Cavite on Thursday (Sept. 15, 2022). De Vera said he is complete with vaccinations for Covid-19, including boosters, but he has been running a fever for almost one week and has had a cold and cough. (MNS photo)

In a statement, Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. said the three-month extension of the state of calamity will give the national government and the local government units (LGUs) more time to carry out economic, social, and health interventions as Filipinos continue to adapt to the new normal and the challenges brought by the pandemic.

“With this extension, we commit to continue to shepherd our local government units (LGUs) to sustain their efforts in mitigating and preventing the spread of Covid-19 in their respective localities and to ensure the safety and protection of their constituents against the virus,” Abalos said in a statement.

He also enjoined LGUs to utilize appropriate funds, including the Quick Response Fund, to address the immediate needs of their constituents and speed up their Covid-19 vaccination and booster drive to “strengthen our nation’s wall of immunity”.

Abalos also said the DILG will remain committed to assisting LGUs in providing efficient, timely, and appropriate Covid-19 response and services to protect the Filipino people during this “critical period”.

In Proclamation No. 57, Marcos extended the period of state of calamity in the country from Sept. 13 to Dec. 31 this year based on the recommendation of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

The President enjoined all government agencies and local government units (LGUs) to continue rendering full assistance to and cooperation with each other and mobilize the necessary resources to undertake critical, urgent, and appropriate disaster response aid and measures in a timely manner to curtail and eliminate the threat of Covid-19. (MNS)