PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has placed the entire regions of Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), Bicol, Western Visayas and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Barmm) under a state of calamity due to the onslaught of Tropical Storm Paeng, which battered the country over the weekend.

Marcos issued Proclamation 84, declaring the state of calamity in the four regions for a period of six months “unless earlier lifted by the President.”

He said the declaration of state of calamity aims to hasten the rescue, recovery, relief, and rehabilitation efforts of the government and the private sector and effectively control the prices of basic necessities and prime commodities.

It will also enable the National Government, as well as local governments units (LGUs) to utilize appropriate funds for calamity-related response.

“All government departments, agencies, and instrumentalities concerned are hereby directed to continue implementing and executing rescue, recovery, relief, and rehabilitation measures in accordance with pertinent operational plans and directives,” the order read.

“All departments and other concerned government agencies are also directed to coordinate with the LGUs to provide or augment the basic services and facilities of affected areas,” it added.

Marcos also tasked law enforcement agencies to undertake all necessary measures to ensure peace and order in affected areas with support from the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The effects of Tropical Storm Paeng resulted in loss of lives and destruction of properties in the affected areas.

In the regions placed under state of calamity, more than 1.4 million individuals were affected. (SunStar Philippines)