By Billy Begas
Speaker Lord Allan Jay Velasco is open to conduct a special session if Malacañang will be calling for one.
Velasco said Bayanihan to Rise As One or Bayanihan 3 and related proposals are currently being studied by the House Committees on Economic Affairs and on Social Services.
“By the time the measures are finished at the committee level, we would have resumed session in May. However, if Malacañan certifies the bill as urgent, we will comply,” said Velasco in a Viber message.
Earlier, Sen. Franklin Drilon urged Malacañang to call for a special session for Congress to pass a special budget for COVID-19 response.
Meanwhile, Velasco urged the international community to take a collective effort to address socioeconomic inequalities further exposed and exacerbated by the pandemic.
“Even as this pandemic severely tests our respective health systems and economies, it can yet be our collective opportunity to harmoniously usher long-needed and wide-ranging socioeconomic reforms toward a definitive and sustainable path,” said Velasco in his remarks delivered virtually during the 2021 Global Parliamentary Workshop organized by the Paris-based The Parliamentary Network on the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The workshop served as a venue for legislators from around the globe to engage in a dialogue with World Bank and IMF senior management to share lessons learned and strategies looking forward to achieve a sustainable and inclusive COVID-19 recovery and strong country outcomes.
Velasco led the House delegation, which included Committee on Ways and Means chairperson Joey Salceda, Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries chairperson Junie Cua, and Deputy Minority Leader Jose Christopher “Kit” Belmonte.