MANILA, Philippines —The House of Representatives is suspending the plenary sessions until January 24 because of a steady increase in COVID-19 cases, Speaker Lord Allan Velasco said Tuesday.
At the end of its plenary session on Monday, the lower chamber announced session will be suspended until next week.
“We have decided to suspend the plenary sessions for the rest of the week because of the continuing surge in COVID-19 cases in almost every corner of the metropolis, and the House of Representatives is no exception,” Velasco said in a statement.
“We arrived at such [a] decision to control the spread of the fast-moving coronavirus that has also affected our members and staff,” he added.
According to Velasco, more than 70 members and employees of the House have contracted the virus since the start of 2022. He added that many are undergoing quarantine or self-isolation after exhibiting symptoms or having close contact with people who tested positive for COVID-19.
“Despite this, we continue to fulfill our constitutional duty of enacting laws that promote the interests and welfare of our people, while taking restrictive yet necessary measures to create a safe environment for House members and employees,” Velasco said.
“The House will resume session on January 24 and we hope that the COVID-19 situation has already improved by then so we could finish all pending priority measures before we adjourn for the election period,” he added.
The House resumed session on Monday, January 17, following the lower chamber’s holiday break.
Senate has likewise suspended its session until January 24 also due to the rising COVID-19 cases.