MANILA, Philippines — President Benigno S. Aquino III signed Proclamation No. 303 declaring a State of National Calamity following the devastation brought by storm “Sendong” to Visayas and Mindanao.
Proclamation No. 303, released Wednesday, was signed by President Aquino on December 20, 2011.
This, following the “severe gravity of the damage,” including more than 1,000 deaths in Regions VII (Central Visayas), IX (Zamboanga Peninsula), X (Northern Mindanao), XI (Davao Region), and the Caraga Region.
The President said a declaration of a state of national calamity “will hasten the rescue, relief and rehabilitation efforts of the government and the private sector, including any international humanitarian assistance, and will effectively control the prices of basic goods and commodities for the affected areas.”
“All departments and other government agencies concerned are hereby directed to implement and execute medical assistance, relief and rehabilitation work in accordance with existing operational plans and directives and orders issued in connection with the occurrence of calamities,” the Proclamation read.
“This declaration also necessitates that the mechanisms for international humanitarian assistance are implemented pursuant to Republic Act (RA) No. 10121,” it added. Republic Act 10121 is also known as “An Act Strengthening the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management System, Providing for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Framework and Institutionalizing the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan.”
“Such declaration will further afford the local government units (LGUs) ample latitude to utilize their calamity fund for the rescue, relief and rehabilitation of their constituents,” the Proclamation read. ( MADEL R. SABATER/Manila Bulletin)