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Marcos lifts COVID-19 state of public health emergency throughout the Philippines

By Brooke Villanueva Published Jul 22, 2023 1:34 pm Updated Jul 22, 2023 1:39 pm

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has lifted the state of public health emergency in the Philippines due to COVID-19.

According to a report by The Philippine STAR, Proclamation No. 297, which was signed on Friday, July 21, states that "all prior orders, memoranda, and issuances that are effective only during the state of public health emergency" have been withdrawn, revoked, canceled, and "shall no longer be in effect."

The proclamation also noted that all emergency use authorization issued by the FDA pursuant to Executive Order No. 121 will stay valid for a year from the date of lifting of the state of public health emergency “for the sole purposes of exhausting the remaining vaccines.”

The President asked government agencies to make sure that the move is taken into consideration when it comes to policies, rules, and regulations "and to amend existing or promulgate new issuances, as may be appropriate."

Former president Rodrigo Duterte declared a public health emergency in the country in March 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The World Health Organization announced that COVID-19 is no longer a global health emergency in May. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, however, noted that it does not mean it's over. "The worst thing any country could do now is to use this news as a reason to let down its guard, to dismantle the systems it has built, or to send the message to its people that COVID-19 is nothing to worry about," he said, adding that the emergency status could be restored "if the situation changes."