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Senate Won’t Allow Pres. Duterte to Take Over Privately-owned Businesses

The Senate will not allow President Rodrigo Duterte to take over privately-owned public utilities and businesses to address the COVID-19 outbreak.


Senate President Vicente Sotto III said on Sunday, that they’re not going to allow President Rodrigo Duterte to control privately-owned utility companies amid the rumors that the chief executive is asking emergency powers to Congress to address the COVID-19 outbreak.

In a report of GMA News, Sotto said there is nothing in the still-unnumbered Senate bill that Duterte certified as urgent that gives him emergency powers.

“Not true. Read the title. Nothing there says emergency powers,” Sotto said

“Perhaps one controversial provision in the bill [is] about the takeover of businesses but that won’t fly in the Senate. The main proposal of the bill is to distribute cash to the 16.5 million families badly needing help,” he added.

He also revealed that their meeting on Saturday already decided that they’re not going to pass any measure giving the President emergency powers.

“That was precisely my point in the meeting yesterday that this is not an emergency powers bill. We agreed that it is not,” he said.

According to the bill, the President is authorized to “exercise powers necessary and proper” to implement a unified national policy to combat COVID-19 “for a limited period and subject to restrictions.”

Image Source: Yahoo News

It includes the temporary control of the President to some privately-owned companies. The President could also order speedy procurement of goods, medicines, medical supplies, and establishments that could be used as temporary medical facilities.

These include hotels and other similar establishments to house health workers and serve as quarantine areas, public transportation systems to carry health, emergency and frontline personnel and other persons, and telecommunication entities to facilitate continuous communication between the government and public.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said that the Congress is set to debate today about the proposal.

“Yan ang panukala ng Kongreso. Pagdedebatihan nila yan. At tignan natin kung ano ang magiging resulta ng kanilang session ng Kamara pati ng Senado,” Nograles said.

READ ALSO: Palace Mourns Death Of Three Doctors Due To COVID-19

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