Press Releases

Statement on the non-extension of the State of Calamity for COVID-19

February 4th, 2023

Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda
Chair, House Committee on Ways and Means

The President’s decision is consistent with the declaration of the World Health Organization that the COVID-19 pandemic is no longer a global health emergency. So, the decision is well-founded on the best global and local health information available.

The immediate effect of this decision is that local calamity funds can no longer be used for COVID-19-related expenses. This is a reprioritization of our limited fiscal resources towards higher-risk events such as natural disasters or agricultural infestation. It also ensures that we will not run out of calamity funds later in the year.

The order to the DOH that HRH be paid their COVID-19 allowances is a very prudent way to recognize the continuing risks that frontliners incur. The strategy now must be to make sure any small increase in cases — and there will be seasonal spikes — is within the control and capacity of our healthcare system. That’s why healthcare worker pay remains very important.

We have long shifted to the endemic stage. PBBM’s decision makes it official.

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