MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday expressed hope that his administration would once again get the support of lawmakers to ensure the country’s quick recovery from the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
This, after Duterte and his fellow Southeast Asian leaders had a “productive” exchange of views and interface with representatives of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) through a virtual conference, Malacañang said in a press statement.
The AIPA, founded in 1977, is a forum for inter-parliamentary friendship and cooperation among lawmakers of the 10 Asean member-states.
Duterte, the Palace said, acknowledged that his government would need the lawmakers’ help in its continuing battle against Covid-19.
He made the remarks as he lauded the Philippine Congress for enacting Republic Act (RA) 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act that expired on Thursday.
According to Malacañang, the President was elated that RA 11469 enabled his administration to implement “timely” emergency measures to mitigate the adverse impact of the Covid-19 crisis, as well as to save the lives of Filipinos.
“Covid-19 is likely to stay with us in the foreseeable future. As we transition to the new normal and move towards recovery, we will once again need the support of the legislative branch,” Duterte said.
He said among the key areas that need urgent legislative action are the institutionalization of national preparedness and response mechanisms for pandemics and other hazards.
Duterte also sought the creation of a Medical Reserve Corps and a stockpile of strategic and critical materials.
He further noted the need to amend the country’s Labor Code, strengthen its social protection system, and update its economic regulations given the advances in the digital economy.
Through RA 11469, the President was granted temporary special powers to address the Covid-19 pandemic.
Malacañang has repeatedly said Duterte’s emergency powers should be extended to allow his government to effectively fight Covid-19, which requires “close cooperation and coordination between the executive and the legislature.” (PNA)