Duterte signs law on special powers vs COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a measure granting him special powers as the country faces a health crisis due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Duterte signed the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, his former aid and Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go confirmed Wednesday.
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.
Under the law, health workers who contracted the disease will receive a compensation of P100,000.
Financial aid of P1 million will also be extended to families of those who contracted the virus and died while on duty. This provision has a retroactive application from February 1, 2020.
Some 18 million low-income households will receive emergency subsidy amounting to P5,000 to P8,000 for two months.
Through this law, the President, for a limited period, is granted special powers including reallocation of government funds to measures against COVID-19.
He is also authorized to direct establishments to house health workers, serve as quarantine areas, or relief and aid distribution locations, as well as public transportation to ferry health, emergency, and frontline personnel.
Malacañang earlier said this “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.”
The President signed the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act a week after he placed the entire Luzon under an enhanced community quarantine to curb the spread of COVID-19.
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