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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte has certified as urgent a bill authorizing the chief executive to fast-track the issuance of permits and licenses in times of national emergency such as the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

In an October 14 letter to Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Duterte sought for the immediate enactment of Senate Bill No. (SBN) 1844, entitled “An act authorizing the President to expedite the processing and issuance of national and local licenses, permits, and certifications.”

Its speedy passage will “facilitate economic activity, accelerate the socio-economic recovery of the country, and ensure the prompt delivery of public services in times of national emergency such as the present Covid-19 pandemic,” the President said.

SBN 1844 authorizes the President to suspend or waive the requirements in securing the documentary requirements. He may also suspend or remove any government officials who will fail to hasten and shorten the processing of national and local permits, licenses, certifications, and authorizations.

Duterte’s certification of the measure allows the legislature to do away with the three-day rule between a measure’s second and third reading approval.

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