MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is lifting the COVID-19 public health emergency nationwide.
On Friday, July 21, Marcos issued Proclamation No. 297, effectively removing the country’s emergency status due to the pandemic but continued the “all emergency use authorization” issued by government regulators for another year to allow the utilization of all remaining vaccines.
The presidential directive explained that although the virus remains to be a “serious concern,” the country has maintained “sufficient healthcare system capacity” and “low hospital bed utilization rates” despite the easing of COVID-19 health protocols.
“All prior orders, memoranda, and issuances that are effective only during the State of Public Health Emergency shall be deemed withdrawn, revoked or canceled and shall no longer be in effect,” Marcos’ Proclamation No. 297 reads.
“All emergency use authorization issued by the Food and Drug Administration pursuant to Executive Order No. 121 shall remain valid for a period of one year from the date of lifting of the State of Public Health Emergency for the sole purposes of exhausting the remaining vaccine,” it added.
Marcos likewise directed all government agencies to ensure their policies will adapt to the lifting of the COVID-19 state of public health emergency as the order allows amendment and promulgation of rules and regulations to align with Proclamation No. 297.
In 2020, then President Rodrigo Duterte signed Proclamation No. 922, placing the entire Philippines under a state of public health emergency due to COVID-19.