Duterte submits to Senate first report on COVID-19 special powers – Sotto
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has submitted to the Senate his first report on the implementation of a law that granted him additional powers to deal with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said.
“He sent me a full report only early this morning. Sending it to the members of the oversight,” Sotto told reporters in a message on Tuesday.
The President’s full report was submitted at around 12:40 a.m., according to Sotto.
Signed into law last week, the “Bayanihan To Heal as One Act,” grants the President “necessary and proper” powers to adopt several “temporary emergency measures” to address the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic which has so far infected over 1,500 in the Philippines.
But the new law also requires the President to submit a report every Monday of each week to make sure the extra powers granted to him are being appropriately used and not abused.
It also mandates the creation of a joint congressional oversight committee composed of four members each from the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Senators Pia Cayetano, Panfilo Lacson and Christopher “Bong” Go are part of the joint congressional oversight committee which will review the President’s weekly reports.
“I just received it now in a scanned copy. I suggested to (Senate President) Sotto and he agreed that the members of the oversight committee submit to him our comments/recommendations for his consolidation and possible posting on the Senate website,” Lacson said in a text message to INQUIRER.net.
Sotto said the President’s report was “quite precise and concise to the spirit of what we expect.”
“Although some provisions are still in process, most are being executed already,” he said in a separate message to reporters.
“But I will wait for the comments of the oversight (committee) and consolidate in a report to the Senate proper,” he added.
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