If Duterte wants House ready to tackle coronavirus outbreak in special session

THE House of Representatives is willing to hold a special session if President Rodrigo Duterte requests it as part of addressing the worsening coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said.

A supplemental budget  to P1.65 billion needs to be approved to provide enough funds for the Department of Health (DOH) in order to respond to the COVID-19.

“We are ready to hold special session if the President asks for it. This issue is a challenge to us, kasi it is a health concern,” Cayetano said.

In a press briefing, Cayetano said he instructed chairman of the appropriations committee Eric Go Yap to talk to the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO) to get certification from the President.

Yap’s committee has approved a P1.6 billion supplemental budget for the DOH.

The DoH had asked for at least P3.1 billion to address the COVID 19.

Meanwhile, House Secretary General  Jose Montales denied rumors that there are employees of the House affected with COVID-19.

Montales also denied the rumors that Mitra building is on lockdown.

“Some HRep employees went to a wake. In another room was person whose brother allegedly tested positive for COVID-19 and now confined in a hospital. While we are verifying this report, and as a precautionary measure even though there was no direct contact with the said person, the employees were directed not to report for work in the meantime,” Montales said in a statement.