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Congress to authorize Duterte to realign P275 B for battle against COVID-19

By Charissa Luci-Atienza 

Congress is set to authorize President Duterte to realign some P275 billion government funds to provide assistance to the affected communities, and strengthen the nation’s capacity to fight the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19).

On a vote of 261 to 18, the Senate and the House of Representatives decide to extend martial law in Mindanao up to December 31, 2017 in a joint, special session at the Batasang Pambansa yesterday. Inset photo shows Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III (left) and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez presiding over the session that lasted more than seven hours. (Jansen Romero, Alvin Kasiban)

House of the Representatives (Manila Bulletin File Photo)

House Majority Leader and Leyte 1st district Rep. Martin Romualdez expressed the Lower Chamber’s readiness to hold a special session on Monday, March 23, at 10 a.m. to ensure that the much-needed government resources will be mobilized during the public health emergency.

“Congress will be granting President Rodrigo Duterte the authority to specifically realign government funds for food, allowances to help the affected families, boost the medical requirements of the people and protection of those who are in the frontline especially our doctors, nurses and all medical personnel,” he said in a statement.

“We will provide enough logistics to help President Duterte ensure that millions of Filipinos now under enhanced community quarantine are fed and afforded with other supplies needed in these difficult times,” he added.

Albay 2nd district Rep. Joey Salceda said Congress will empower President Duterte to realign some P275 billion funds to fight COVID-19.

“I think Congress tomorrow will essentially approve just one sentence– allowing the President to realign almost P275 billion na masasabi nating mamomobilize (that we can say will be mobilized),” he said during the “Laging Handa” briefing aired on state-run PTV-4 on Sunday.

He noted that Duterte government is aiming to provide P8,000 assistance to 17.9 million Filipinos to sustain their food requirements during the enhanced community quarantine.

Senior citizens will be given nutritional supplements, he added.

Source: Manila Bulletin

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