President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s decision to extend the state of calamity the Philippines is under due to Covid-19 will hinge on the recommendation of the Department of Health (DOH), the Palace said on Thursday.

Former president Rodrigo Duterte first placed the Philippines under a state of calamity due to Covid-19 in March 2020.

In September 2021, he stretched the declaration until Sept. 12, 2022.

“[The decision] will depend on the recommendation of the DOH, but we will make the announcement when the time comes,” Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said in a Palace briefing.

The DOH remains without a secretary to date.

The imposition of a state of calamity will allow the government to monitor and control prices of basic necessities and prime commodities and provide basic services.

The Philippines has 37,962 active Covid-19 cases as of Aug. 11.

Of the country’s 3,818,480 total cases, 60,916 cases have died and 3,719,602 have recovered.

The country has administered 158,346,675 Covid-19 vaccine doses as of Aug. 10, enough to fully vaccinate 72 million, partially vaccinate 69.5 million and boost 16.8 million Filipinos. John Ezekiel J. Hirro