Sotto: No pressure on Duterte to follow law-required weekly COVID-19 report
MANILA, Philippines — No pressure.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Monday said that while President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to send a report to Congress about the progress in the government’s effort against COVID-19, they would not impose sanctions on the Executive branch.
Under Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, the President is given additional powers to realign and reprogram items in the 2020 national budget to fund projects that would counter the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
But the new law also required Duterte to submit a report to Congress every Monday of each week to make sure the extra powers granted to him were being appropriately used and not abused.
“Hindi naman, baka delayed lang (A reprimand is not needed, maybe it was only delayed),” Sotto explained. “Let’s cut them some slack. It’s just started.”
On March 9, Duterte pronounced that the country is in a state of public health emergency following the confirmation of a number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines.
Then on March 16, Duterte placed the entire Luzon under an enhanced community quarantine in a bid to arrest the rising cases of COVID-19 in the country.
And with the granting of the special powers to Duterte, Congress declared that the country is in a state of national emergency because of the highly-infectious coronavirus disease.
On Monday afternoon, the Department of Health said the country already has 1,546 people with COVID-19. Of the number, 78 have already died while at least 42 managed to recover.
As of March 30, the coronavirus named SARS-CoV-2 that leads to COVID-19 has infected more than 723,300 people and killed more than 33,990 worldwide.
COVID-19 has already been declared a pandemic.
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