MANILA

Congress to hold special session on Bayanihan 2 before Sona

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THE proposed special session of Congress to deliberate on the proposed Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2 will take place before President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his State of the Nation Address (Sona) on July 27.

“Dahil po special session siya, it would have to be before Sona dahil kung after Sona ay regularization [of Congress session] na po siya, so antay-antayin lang po natin ang importanteng balita po ay plantsado na po,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said during his regular press conference Thursday, July 2, 2020.

He said the date for the special session has yet to be set.

“Wala pa pong timeline, pero ito po kasi ‘yung first time na narinig ko kay [Finance] Secretary (Carlos III) Dominguez na more or less plantsado na sila,” Roque said.

“First time rin kinumpirma niya na hihingi tayo ng special session sa Kongreso,” he added.

(For the first time, Secretary Dominguez confirmed that the executive department will request Congress to hold a special session. No timeline has been set, but Secretary Dominguez said they have ironed out details of the measure.)

Congress, which is on a break until July 27, had adjourned without approving the proposed Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2.

The measure is similar to the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, which expired on June 25, 2020.

It seeks to grant the President with special powers to fight the threats of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Roque said Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez III urged Congress to pass the Bayanihan 2 before resuming its regular session.

“Noong mga nakalipas na araw ang mga nakukuha kong mga balita ay baka sa regularization na lang, pero ang sabi po ni Secretary Dominguez kailangan po natin ‘yan,” Roque said.

“So kaya po ‘binalita ko na magpapatawag na ng special session ngayong pong mukhang plantsado na iyong magiging laman ng Bayanihan 2 legislation,” he added.

Roque said the stimulus package under the Bayanihan 2 has already been ironed out. (SunStar Philippines)


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