PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte may be granted an additional 90 days to use emergency powers under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act to address the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) epidemic in the country.
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto and Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri have filed Senate Bills 1561 and 1546, respectively, seeking to extend the validity of the Bayanihan law until September 30, 2020.
The Bayanihan law was approved by Congress after a special session held on March 23. It grants special powers to Duterte for three months to deal with the epidemic.
In his bill, Recto said the country should also address problems such as lack of business confidence.
“The dramatic and unexpected impact on the economy has dampened the confidence of business in its ability to survive and eventually, turn around — this moment of history is touted to be man’s darkest hour and perhaps, the bleakest period in this generation’s lifetime,” Recto said.
Meanwhile, the bill filed by Zubiri seeks to address livelihood problems.
“It is apparent that the country is far from seeing the end to this extraordinary situation and the threat to life and livelihood persists,” Zubiri said.
“The extension will allow the President to continue the realignment of items in the national budget and other powers granted to him under the said law to be able to provide emergency support for vulnerable groups and individuals, expand medical resources to fight Covid-19, and finance emergency initiatives to keep the economy afloat,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)