Philippines declares state of national calamity

12:37, 21 December 2011

Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino...

Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino has issued Wednesday a proclamation declaring a state of national calamity to hasten the rescue, relief and rehabilitation of areas damaged by tropical storm Washi (local name: Sendong), according to Xinhua.

"All departments and other government agencies concerned are hereby directed to implement and execute medical assistance, relief and rehabilitation work in accordance with existing operational plans and directives and orders issued in connection with the occurrence of calamities," Aquino said.

Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. said that Proclamation No. 303 also effectively control the prices of basic goods and commodities for the affected areas.

"The devastating rains and floods caused by typhoon Washi have brought death, destruction, and incalculable damage to the lives and properties of Filipinos," Ochoa said.

He said the declaration will allow the local government units to use their calamity fund for the rescue, relief and rehabilitation of their constituents.

The National Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Council said that the death toll due to Washi breached 1,000 level already.

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