MANILA, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday extended the state of calamity in the Philippines for another year until September 2022 to allow the government to draw emergency funds faster as the Southeast Asian country grapples with a surging number of COVID-19 cases and deaths.
"All law enforcement agencies, with the support from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, are hereby directed to continue undertaking all necessary measures to ensure peace and order in affected areas, as may be necessary," said a proclamation signed by Duterte.
Duterte first declared a state of national calamity for six months in mid-March 2020. In September 2020, he extended the state of calamity period for one year.
The Philippines now has 2,179,770 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 34,899 deaths. Health authorities blamed the "exponential" spike in infections on the highly transmissible Delta variant.
Duterte said the extension is needed as "the number of COVID-19 positive cases and deaths continue to rise despite efforts and interventions to contain" the highly infectious disease.
The proclamation urged all government agencies and local government units "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." Enditem