Monday, July 13, 2020

House Panel OKs Extension Of Pres. Duterte’s Special Powers

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The House of Representatives Committee of the Whole on Wednesday night approved a measure to extend President Rodrigo Duterte’s special powers under Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Law for another three months or up to September 30.

The lower House constituted itself into a Committee of the Whole to approve a substitute bill consolidating House Bills 6811, 6868, 6952, and House Resolution 910.

The special powers granted to the President to combat the Covid-19 health emergency is only valid for three months, unless extended by Congress. The law was signed on March 24, 2020.

Another provision specified in the proposed measure is a PHP162-billion standby fund to support response measures to address the Covid-19 pandemic.

This standby fund includes PHP12 billion for the procurement of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing and extraction kits; PHP18 billion for the implementation of the cash-for-work program; PHP5 billion for the implementation of the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation Program; PHP21 billion for the unemployment or involuntary separation assistance for displaced workers; and PHP50 billion for the infusion of capital to government financial institutions.

Also included in the funding are various forms of financial assistance for affected sectors: PHP21 billion for the agricultural sector; PHP21 billion for the transportation industry; PHP10 billion for the tourism industry; and PHP4 billion for the education sector. (PNA)

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