"Hindi special powers ang sagot sa pandemic na ito, kundi political will" - Hontiveros

"Hindi special powers ang sagot sa pandemic na ito, kundi political will" - Hontiveros

Opposition senator Risa Hontiveros was the lone dissenter in the "Bayanihan to Heal as One Act" and was very firm in the belief that those not physically present in the senate hall are not allowed to vote in the passage of the bill after the third and final reading.

Hontiveros believes the law that would grant extra powers to the President are "prone to abuse" despite the safeguards in the measure.

"We cannot and should not blindly trust the use of these important funds to a government, which during this health crisis... has been unable to immediately and sufficiently deliver personal protective equipment to our doctors, health workers, law enforcement agents and other frontliners," she said in a statement.
Senator Risa Hontiveros
(photo credit to owner)

"Hindi special powers ang sagot sa pandemic na ito, kundi political will para isulong ang mass-testing, ibigay ang PPEs at hazard pay sa mga frontliners, at ihatid ang cash assistance sa mga mahihirap na pamilya at nawalan ng kita," she said.

Duterte is subject to State audit

One of the provision in the law is that the Executive branch will subjected to state auditing even if Congress has authorized President Rodrigo Duterte to realign funds to better respond to the coronavirus crisis, this according to minority floor leader and head of the opposition bloc in the senate Franklin Drilon.

"I want to emphasize that the rules of the Commission on Audit and the law on anti-graft are not being waived in so far as the execution of this law is concerned," Drilon said in a radio interview.
"Iyan [audit rules] ay umiiral kahit may kapangyarihang malawak, kahit na may kapangyarihang ibinibigay para i-realign ang existing budget doon sa pagdagdag ng pera para sa ibang programa," he said.

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Report from ABS-CBN News

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