President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday placed the island of Luzon, home to nearly 50 million people, under a state of calamity following successive typhoons that spawned massive floods and caused widespread devastation.
In a televised address, Duterte said he signed the proclamation on Monday night.
"Napirmahan ko na last night," he said.
Duterte heeded the recommendation of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council to declare a state of calamity in the country's most populous island.
Declaring a state of calamity allows local government units to use their emergency funds and empowers the Department of Trade and Industry to freeze the prices of basic goods.
The President however made the declaration even as the entire Philippines is already under a state of calamity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Luzon was battered by storms Quinta, Super Typhoon Rolly, Siony, Tonyo, and Ulysses in a just a span of weeks, destroying thousands of homes and leaving millions worth of damage to infrastructure and agriculture.