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BARMM and three other regions have been in a crisis for six months.

Calabarzon, Bicol, Western Visayas, and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) have been declared states of calamity for the next six months by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.

In the wake of the former Severe Tropical Storm Paeng, Marcos signed Proclamation 84 on Wednesday, declaring a state of calamity in the four regions.

The state of calamity is to last for six months, “unless earlier lifted by the President,” according to the declaration.

After Paeng “caused the loss of lives, destruction of property, damage to agriculture and critical infrastructures, and disruption of means of livelihood and normal way of life of the populations in the affected areas,” he acted on the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council’s (NDRRMC) advice to declare a state of calamity.

Severe Tropical Storm Paeng “adversely affected” more than 1.4 million people in Regions 4-A (Calabarzon), 5- (Bicol Region), 6- (Western Visayas), and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), according to Marcos’ declaration.

Therefore, in light of Severe Tropical Storm Paeng, I, Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., President of the Philippines, do hereby declare a State of Calamity in Regions 4-A (Calabarzon), 5 (Bicol Region), 6 (Western Visayas), and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) in accordance with the powers granted to me by the Constitution and current laws.

According to Proclamation 84, the government and the private sector would be authorized to “hasten the rescue, recovery, relief, and rehabilitation activities” if a state of calamity was declared.

It stated that declaring a state of emergency in the impacted areas will also aid in “effectively controlling” the cost of essentials and premium goods.

The decree states that the national government and local government units (LGUs) will have “ample discretion” to spend the proper money for operations to rescue, recover, provide relief, and restore the environment.

In accordance with the law, Proclamation 84 will also guarantee the “continuous” delivery of essential services to the impacted communities.

According to the relevant operational plans and directives, “all related government departments, agencies, and instrumentalities are hereby directed to continue implementing and carrying out rescue, recovery, relief, and rehabilitation measures.”

“All departments and other related government organizations are also instructed to work in concert with the LGUs to supplement or provide the essential services and facilities needed by the affected areas. Law enforcement agencies are instructed to take all necessary steps to maintain peace and order in the affected areas with the assistance of the Philippine Armed Forces.

According to the proclamation, the President may declare a state of calamity in additional areas “if justified,” taking into account the ongoing damage assessment in the affected areas, on the advice of the NDRRMC, and according to the limitations imposed by the legislation and any relevant issuances.

The official website of the Official Gazette has a copy of the proclamation posted there.

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