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Ping sees need for special session for Bayanihan 2

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A special session may be needed to pass the Bayanihan 2 measure, if only to help health workers who fall ill or die while battling the threat of COVID-19, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Saturday.

Lacson said this would allow President Rodrigo Duterte to realign funds for programs that will help government respond to the COVID threat.

“Tingin ko ang portion sa Bayanihan 2, ang emergency powers, kailangan mag-special session,” he said in an interview on DWIZ radio.

But Lacson said there is a consensus in the Senate to take up separately the ARISE bill, which provides a stimulus package for businesses affected by the pandemic.

He said there is a suggestion that the ARISE measure be separated and taken up by the committee on banks chaired by Sen. Grace Poe.

“Uunahin lang muna namin ang extension or amendment ng Bayanihan uunahin namin yan para maituloy ang programa ng pamahalaan para mag-attend sa emergency situations,” he said.

“Ipagpatuloy ni PRRD ang pag-realign ng budget kasi ngayon di sia makapag-realign although nariyan pa ang state of emergency, 6 months yan. Pero wala na ang kanyang powers binigyan ng Kongreso kung saan pwede siya mag-realign ng budget papunta sa COVID 19-related expenditures,” he added.

Meanwhile, Lacson said the use of teleconferencing in budget hearings may be acceptable as part of the new normal.

“New normal eh. Kesa sa magkahawahawa dahil sa Senate mismo may tested positive kaya mahirap na rin. We should always be on the side of caution. Anyway as long as nagagawa namin ang aming trabaho as legislators, tama na rin yan,” he said.

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