No special session

Senate of the Philippines

INSTEAD of holding a special session Congress leaders decided to meet President Rodrigo Duterte to discuss the proposed supplemental budget and contingency fund that will be utilized in addressing the coronavirus disease or COVID-19.

In a statement, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano announced that congressmen and senators will be meeting at the Palace anytime soon to discuss how the government can utilize the resources available.

The entire Luzon is under enhanced community quarantine to avoid the spreading of COVID-19. There are already 262 confirmed cases with 17 deaths.

“Gusto ko lang i-confirm na imbes mag-special session sa Kongreso, magkakaroon muna kami ng meeting sa pagitan ng executive at legislative upang mahanapan ng paraan kung papaano ma-e-empower ang ating gobyerno sa pamamagitan ng pagbigay ng sapat na resources at ang flexibility na kinakailangan nito upang harapin at lutasin ang pandemic na ito,” Cayetano said.

Earlier, Senator Bong Go said the President might call for a special session to discuss the supplemental budget needed by the Department of Health (DOH) and other concerned agencies combating COVID-19.

There were reports that a special session was set from March 21 to March 23.

However, during the initial meeting of some senators and congressmen with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea they decided to discuss first the issue with President Duterte. 

There are several proposals on supplemental budget and contingency funds pending in Congress.

“Asahan po ninyo mga kababayan na ang inyong mga concerns, complaints, at suggestions na ipinarating ninyo sa amin ay kabilang sa aming mga paguusapan. Mga problema ninyo ay hahanapan namin ng solusyon,” Cayetano said.

He asked the members of the House of Representatives to send to him their concerns, suggestions and others so the could raise it in the meeting. 

With the social distancing being implemented, the special session is a  big question.