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Sotto says he is satisfied with Duterte’s 2nd weekly report to Congress

/ 11:37 AM April 07, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Vicente Sotto III said he is satisfied with President Rodrigo Duterte’s second report to Congress on the government’s COVID-19 response but still expressed hope that programs mentioned in the report will be executed “expeditiously.”

According to Sotto, the President’s second weekly report to Congress was “(v)very long and incisive.”

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“The report shows that the (executive department) is following the Bayanihan Act to the letter and the programs laid out last week are now being executed,” he said in a Viber message to INQUIRER.net on Tuesday.

The second weekly report was submitted to Congress on Monday night.

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Legislators passed the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, which gave Duterte additional powers, including the reallocation of government funds, in order to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

But the law also required Duterte to submit a progress report a weekly report every Monday to ensure that provisions are implemented correctly according to the law and are not being abused.

Asked if he was satisfied with the President’s report, Sotto said: “Yes I am.

“I just hope the programs mentioned will be executed expeditiously,” he added.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, who is part of the joint congressional oversight committee tasked to review the President’s report, told INQUIRER.net that he has yet to receive a copy of the 22-page document.

“We have yet to receive a copy of the (President’s) second weekly report to Congress from the office of the Senate President but he already received his copy last night and has instructed his staff to email us a copy,” he said in a text message.

Among programs laid out under Duterte’s second report is the Livelihood Assistance Grant (LAG) which will be released on or before April 14.

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According to the President’s report, the Sustainable Livelihood Program-National Program Management Office is currently crafting supplemental guidelines for the release of the LAG.

“The LAG may be used by beneficiaries as seed capital to start up new or enhance existing micros-enterprises, among others,” his report read.

The report also noted that financial assistance to local government units to augment funds for their response against the spread of COVID-19 will soon be released by the Department of Budget and Management.

“The DBM is about to release the ‘Bayanihan Grant to Cities and Municipalities’ which is funding assistance to cities and municipalities for their COVID-10 measures and relief efforts,” Duterte said in his report.

The report stated that the funding assistance will be equivalent to one month of the LGU’s internal revenue allotment (IRA) totaling P30.824 billion.

/MUF

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TAGS: coronavirus disease, coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19, Nation, news, Senate, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Senator Panfilo Lacson, senators, weekly report
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