Duterte set to submit 14th report on special powers to Congress on Monday

By CNN Philippines Staff

President Rodrigo Duterte is set to submit his 14th report on the government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis to Congress on Monday.

The latest report comes after the lapse of the Bayanihan Heal As One Act, which ended on June. The Bayanihan to Heal as One Act gave the President the power to reallocate funds from the 2020 national budget as he deems necessary in the country’s fight against COVID-19.

One of the provisions is the granting of a ₱5,000 to ₱8,000 monthly subsidy to 18 million poor families for two months, as well as compensation for healthcare workers who have succumbed or had gotten ill because of the virus

Duterte’s 13th report, submitted on June 22, discussed issues concerning transportation problems and delayed aid distribution.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development said they have finished distributing the first tranche of the social amelioration program last week, and DSWD spokesperson Irene Dumlao told CNN Philippines that 1.3 million beneficiaries have received cash aid in the second tranche of SAP.

Despite the lapse of the Bayanihan Act, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said it would not affect SAP distribution.

“It’s a physical act of disbursing what has been allotted by Congress, so wala pong problema ‘yan [so there is no problem],” he said during a televised briefing last week.

Apart from aid distribution, Duterte is also set to make an announcement on the fate of quarantine restrictions, among them, whether Metro Manila stays under general community quarantine or shifts into another mode of restriction.

Duterte extended GCQ in Metro Manila until June 30 and tightened restrictions in Cebu City to enhanced community quarantine after it emerged as the epicenter of the outbreak in the Visayas.

Since his last report, Duterte appointed Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu to oversee the COVID-19 fight in Cebu City. He is expected to give an update on the matter in his report. 

The President is also expected to address the public on Monday, along with other government officials, to discuss key issues in the fight against the virus.

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