Duterte thanks Congress for granting him special powers vs COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines– President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday thanked Congress for passing a bill granting him special powers in the face of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.
In a televised briefing, Duterte said the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act would allow the executive branch to “move, decide and act freely for the best interest of the Filipino people during this health crisis.”
“To the members of both houses of Congress who sponsored and voted for this measure, I express my sincerest gratitude to all of you for granting our most urgent requests,” Duterte said.
He also recognized the efforts of Senate President Vicente Sotto III and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano for the “strong and decisive leadership you have demonstrated in shepherding this measure during this critical time in our national history.”
The Bayanihan to Heal as One Act grants the President additional powers to adopt “temporary emergency measures” to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
Malacañang earlier said the measure “is a response to such urgent need, the swift and efficient implementation of which will secure the success of the measures established by the national government in eradicating the threat to our national survival.”
Health officials have so far recorded 552 confirmed cases of COVID-19, of whom 35 have already died and 20 have recovered.
The entire country has been placed under a state of calamity, while a Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine was implemented to limit the movement of people amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
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