Drilon: Duterte can only declare public health emergency if COVID-19 a threat to nat’l security

(Eagle News)–President Rodrigo Duterte can only declare a public health emergency if the novel coronavirus is a threat to national security.

This is according to Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon who gave a radio interview a day after the President approved the Department of Health recommendation following the confirmation of the country’s first local transmission of the virus.

According to Drilon, the declaration “will facilitate mobilization of resources and ease processes, including procurement of critical logistics and supplies and intensifying reporting and quarantine measures.”

It doesn’t mean however that procurement processes can be circumvented.

“Ang batas sinasabi lamang mandatory reporting requirement at kung naging national security issue ay puwedeng mag-declare ng public health emergency. Ngunit ‘yan nakalagay sa batas, to mobilize national agencies to respond to the threat,” he said.