COVID-19-CRISIS: Special powers bill now up for Duterte’s signature

COVID-19-CRISIS: Special powers bill now up for Duterte’s signature

first_imgThe House of Representatives adopted theSenate Bill 1418 declaring the existence of a national emergency. This wouldgive Duterte additional powers to address the outbreak. The bill, also known as the “Bayanihanto Heal as One Act,” was approved at around 3 a.m. on Tuesday. It isnow ready for President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature. Duterte can also “direct theoperation” of any privately-owned hospitals and medical and healthfacilities including passenger vessels and other establishments to house healthworkers, assign quarantine areas, and give medical relief, provided that theowners of the enterprise will be retained, and only when the public interestrequires. Refusal to cooperate will be penalized. Public and private health workers whomay contract severe COVID-19 infection while in their line of duty will also beprovided compensation of P100,000 while those who may die while fighting thepandemic will be compensated P1 million.  Under the measure, Duterte is givenauthority to provide an emergency subsidy to 18 million low-income householdsworth between P5,000 and P8,000 for a month to two months. MANILA – Congress has approved a measurethat would grant President Rodrigo Duterte additional powers to curb the spreadof coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the country.center_img Duterte may now also ensure that localgovernment units are acting in line with the national government’s policy andmay impose corresponding penalties if they disobey directives on quarantineprotocols. The powers given to President Rodrigo Duterte will only be effective for three months — “unless extended by Congress. PCOO The President may still “takeover” their operations if these enterprises are no longer capable ofoperating “subject to the limits and safeguards enshrined in theConstitution.” The Chief Executive’s special powerswill be in full force for only three months, unless extended by Congress, orwithdrawn sooner via a concurrent resolution./PNlast_img

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