House Committee Of The Whole Granted Duterte Emergency Powers To Address COVID-19 Situation
CORONAVIRUS IN THE PHILIPPINES – President Rodrigo Duterte has been granted emergency powers by the House Committee of the Whole.
House Bill 6616 which seeks a declaration of a national emergency was voted upon by the Committee of the Whole on Monday. As such, they voted in agreement that President Duterte be given emergency powers for “a limited time” which is subject to restrictions.
With the emergency powers, President Duterte is now able to direct the operation of privately-owned hospitals, medical, and health facilities, hotels and similar establishments.
As such, these areas could be used as quarantine areas to house health workers and could serve as a medical aid distribution area or temporary medical facilities.
In addition, Duterte is also allowed to direct the operation of public transport systems to carry health, emergency, and frontline personnel, and other persons.
According to a report from GMA, the President would also be allowed to “reprogram. reallocate, and realign any appropriation in the 2020 national budget.
This could be used for whatever purpose the President deemed necessary to fight against the new coronavirus, COVID-19. In addition, the President could cancel any programs, projects, and activities to generate savings.
By reason thereof, and in order to optimize the efforts of the President to carry out the tasks needed to implement the aforementioned policy, it is imperative to grant him emergency powers subject to limitations,
Currently, the coronavirus pandemic has infected over 337,300 people worldwide. Furthermore, it has caused the deaths of 14,641 individuals. Furthermore, 98,627 have recovered from the virus.