Philippines

Duterte delegates special powers to gov’t execs except for two crucial tasks 

By April 17, 2020 No Comments

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte updates the nation on the government’s efforts in addressing the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on March 30, 2020. KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte “reserved” two of the additional powers granted to him by Congress to address the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak that has so far infected over 1,500 in the country.

In the President’s first weekly report to Congress on the implementation of the recently enacted “Bayanihan To Heal As One Act,” it stated that “all but two (2) of the powers granted” to him “have been delegated to specific officials, clearly laying down their responsibilities.”

“The president has given them their marching orders, emphasizing the need for expediency and giving them sufficient authority, so that they do not have to go back to the office of the President to ask for clearance for each and every action they will take,” the report read.

Those who were given specific powers by the President are the secretaries of concerned government agencies such as the Interior and Local Government, Transportation, Information and Communications Technology, and Trade and Industry departments, among others.

It stated that the chief executive “reserved the two powers that have the gravest potential impact on the private sector, if done without utmost care.”

“One is the power to direct the operation of the specified private establishments or to take over their operations in very specific conditions,” Duterte’s report said.

“The other is the power to require businesses to prioritize contracts for materials and services necessary for this crisis. The president will exercise these powers only when absolutely necessary,” he added.

Duterte submitted to Congress his report past midnight on Tuesday.

The said law grants the President “necessary and proper” powers to adopt several “temporary emergency measures” to address the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, which has so far infected over 1,500 in the Philippines.

But the new law also requires the President to submit a report every Monday of each week to make sure the extra powers granted to him are being appropriately used and not abused.

It also mandates the creation of a joint congressional oversight committee composed of four members each from the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Edited by JPV

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TAGS: Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, Congress, coronavirus disease, COVID-19, Nation, news, President Rodrigo Duterte, weekly report
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