Go: Both Senate, House ready to hold special session over COVID-19 dilemma | Inquirer News
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Go: Both Senate, House ready to hold special session over COVID-19 dilemma

/ 12:29 AM March 20, 2020

Sen. Bong Go. PRIB Photo

MANILA, Philippines – Leaders of both the Senate and House of Representatives have expressed intention to hold a special congressional session at the soonest possible time, following President Rodrigo Duterte’s call on Thursday.

According to former Duterte aide and Senator Bong Go, the issue on the matter has been discussed by Senate President Vicente Sotto III and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.

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The session, which will be opened in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, may be held either on Saturday or Monday next week, Go said.

“I have discussed the matter with Senate President Vicente Sotto III and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano who both said that they are ready to hold the Special Session at the soonest possible time, either on Saturday or Monday next week,” Go said in a statement.

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“Based on our discussion, the priority is to ensure that additional funds can be allocated for immediate healthcare needs and for much-needed financial and food assistance to Filipinos, particularly the vulnerable sectors, daily wage earners and informal economy workers affected by the strict quarantine measures being imposed,” he added.

Earlier, Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo confirmed that Duterte will call for a session so that Congress can pass the P1.6-billion supplemental budget to fight the COVID-19 crisis.

Go also confirmed Duterte’s move.

“President Duterte has already responded to this recommendation and has called on Congress to hold the Special Session immediately,” he said.

“Both houses of Congress have expressed their commitment to find ways to respond to the needs of the people, especially at this time when decisive government action is imperative,” he added.

As of Thursday, the whole of Luzon is still under an enhanced community quarantine as COVID-19 cases rise, meaning that only frontline service workers like healthcare workers and service crew members are allowed to go to work.

The Department of Health said that there are 217 confirmed cases in the Philippines, 17 of which have already died.  At least seven have recovered, while there are six patients who were allowed to go on a home quarantine mode.

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The COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus that first emerged in China’s city of Wuhan in Hubei province in late 2019.

The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses named the novel coronavirus as SARS-CoV-2.

Coronavirus is a family of viruses, which surfaces have a crown-like appearance. The viruses are named for the spikes on their surfaces.  Worldwide, over 218,000 COVID-19 cases have been recorded, of which 9,177 patients have died.  On the other hand, another 84,234 patients have recovered.

Edited by JPV

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TAGS: 2019 Novel Coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, COVID-19, enhanced community quarantine, House of Representatives, House Speaker Alan Cayetano, lockdown, Luzon, National Capital Region, nCoV update, Philippine news updates, President Rodrigo Duterte, Senate, Senate President Vicente Sotto III
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