House resumes session Monday

January 22, 2022 Jester P. Manalastas 128 views

THE session of the House of Representatives will resume on Monday and strict health protocols will still be implemented aside from the regular sanitation and disinfection.

Speaker Lord Allan Velasco said last week the House decided to suspend session for one week due to the rising cases of COVID-19 and the threat of Omicron variant.

“We continue to implement the online HousePass system as part of our regular health and security protocols,” Velasco said in a statement.

Plenary sessions will still be done in a hybrid manner and only 20 percent of the workforce in each department and office in the House will be allowed to report for work.

A limited number of House members and Secretariat personnel will be physically present inside the plenary hall.

The rest of lawmakers shall attend the session through videoconference, Speaker Velasco ordered.

Since the start of the year, more than 70 House members and employees have contracted the virus and many others are undergoing quarantine or self-isolation after exhibiting symptoms or having close contact with people who tested positive for COVID-19.

The House leader said the Congress will continue to fulfill its constitutional duty of enacting laws that promote the interests and welfare of our people, while taking restrictive yet necessary measures to create a safe environment for House members and employees.

Her vowed not to waste time to approve more pressing bills until the next break to start on February 5 to give way to national campaign for the May elections.

Last week, a total of 19 bills, 10 of them are of national significance, were approved on third and final reading.

These are measures on aid for higher education, additional benefits for senior citizens, rural financial inclusion, and tax cut to help the live entertainment industry recover from the impact of the pandemic.