Lower House willing to hold special sessions in fight vs COVID-19

QUEZON CITY – Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, voiced the sentiment of the members of the House of Representatives in support of the call for a Special Session to tackle and pass measures granting a supplemental budget for the government to combat the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Speaker Cayetano stressed that Congress stands ready whenever the President decides to call for an emergency session.

“We are willing to have Special Sessions to come up with a feasible and pragmatic economic package.

We can adapt special rules like online voting if necessary, and practice social distancing measures to accommodate all our members, including those who are currently in self-quarantine.”

Aside from passing a supplemental budget, Speaker Cayetano also wants to prioritize the passage of a measure that will grant more flexibility in the utilization of government funds in the implementation of vital programs that will allow the government to provide immediate support to the severely affected sectors, and the most vulnerable population.

The House of Representatives is also proposing for a legislative measure that will finance a comprehensive economic stimulus package that will mitigate the effects of COVID-19 specifically to the tourism and informal sector as well as to the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

“We have started discussions with our colleagues in Congress and the Executive on how to operationalize short and medium term economic programs, and reduce bureaucratic procedures to help those who are going to be adversely affected by COVID-19.

We also express our appreciation and support for the President’s handling of the current crisis. Rest assured that the members of the House of Representatives are more than willing to cooperate and further assist the Executive Branch of government to help our people to overcome this crisis.”