Duterte signs law declaring national emergency, granting special powers vs COVID-19
The Bayanihan to Heal as One Act will be valid for three months under certain provisions
Mar 25, 2020
President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a measure granting him special powers amid the health crisis due to COVID-19. This comes a week after he placed Luzon under an enhanced community quarantine to prevent the further spread of the virus.
Just hours after he addressed the nation and gave encouraging words about the country’s situation [READ: “Wag kayong matakot,” Duterte urges Filipinos vs. COVID-19 despite no concrete plans], the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act was signed, as confirmed by Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, Inquirer reports.
In a nutshell, the 2020 Bayanihan to Heal as One Act grants the President 30 special powers to adopt “temporary emergency measures” in order to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. This includes reallocation of government funds to measures against COVID-19.
Thereon, the bill proposes a compensation of P100,000 for health workers who contracted the disease and financial aid of P1 million to be extended to families of health workers who contracted the disease and died while on duty.
Furthermore, about 18 million low-income households are also set to receive emergency subsidies amounting to P5,000 to P8,000 for two months.
The president can also order private establishments to house health workers, serve as quarantine areas as well as relief and aid distribution locations. Public transportation services can also be ordered to lend itself to health, emergency and frontline personnel.
The bill will be effective for three months unless extended by Congress or terminated earlier through a concurrent resolution or the president’s proclamation.
Header photo courtesy of Inquirer.net
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