Powers granted to Duterte by Congress to be used in accordance with Constitution, assures Palace
Malacanang assured on Tuesday that President Rodrigo Duterte would exercise the powers granted to him by Congress in accordance with the Constitution.
This was after the Congress approved in a special session on Monday the bill entitled "Bayanihan To Heal As One Act," granting stand-by powers to Duterte to carry out effectively the national policy of stopping the spread of the coronavirus disease, which has endangered the lives of the Filipinos.
The President has yet to receive the enrolled bill, according to Senator Christopher "Bong" Go, also a close ally of Duterte.
"The Filipino people are assured that the powers granted the President shall be enforced strictly in accordance with the Constitution," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
He said the proposed measure provides that the executive branch issues periodic reports of its implementation of necessary interventions to combat the pandemic.
He also said that the powers granted to Duterte is for a limited period and subject to the restrictions contained in the bill.
Under the bill, Panelo, who is also the chief presidential legal counsel, said the President is authorized to immediately implement measures for the effective education, detection, protection, and treatment of the people against COVID-19.
It also allows the chief executive to expedite accreditation of testing kits and facilitates the prompt testing by public and designation of private institutions.
The proposed measure also gives power to the President to provide allowance or compensate and shoulder medical expenses in favor of public and private health workers; and directs establishments to house health workers, serve as quarantine areas, or relief and aid distribution locations, as well as public transportation to ferry health, emergency, and frontline personnel.
The proposed statute also ensures the availability of essential goods, in particular food and medicine, and protecting the people from illegal and pernicious practices affecting the supply, distribution and movement of certain essential items; directs the extension of statutory deadlines for the filing of government requirements and setting grace periods for payment of loans and rents; and provides subsidy to low-income households and implementing an expanded and enhanced Pantawid Pamilya Program.
"The Bayanihan to Heal as One Act is a response to such urgent need, the swift and efficient implementation of which will secure the success of the measures established by the national government in eradicating the threat to our national survival," Panelo said.
He again urged the public to be wary of rumors and false news "designed to create panic and confusion propagated by the enemies of peace and order." Celerina Monte/DMS