House suspends sessions starting Aug. 5

August 3, 2021 Jester P. Manalastas 151 views

WITH another strict lockdown to be enforced in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, the House of Representatives suspended its session starting August 5.

The National Capital Region (NCR), Rizal, Laguna, Cavite and Bulacan will be placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine from August 6 to 20 due to the rising cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the threat of the highly transmissible Delta variant.

Speaker Lord Allan Velasco ordered the work stoppage in the House as one way to contain the fast-spreading Delta variant in Metro Manila.

Velasco instructed House Secretary General Mark Llandro Mendoza to issue a memorandum suspending regular office work in the House.

From August 3 to 4, office hours will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with sessions starting from 2 to 5 p.m, the memo stated.

The House leadership cited the “heightened restrictions being imposed due to the surge of COVID-19 cases, and for the health and safety of our House members and employees.”

During the ECQ period, all meetings in the House shall be held via videoconferencing only; Secretariat personnel with extremely essential tasks shall be allowed to report physically to the office; all congressional offices shall be closed; antigen testing shall be made available for those reporting physically for work.

Meanwhile, Mendoza added that should there be available vaccines, vaccination shall proceed and concerned individuals shall be notified accordingly.

The House Legislative Security Bureau has been tasked to strictly implement the provisions contained in the memo.

“The threat of this Delta variant is real, as evidenced by the surge in cases in certain regions around the world,” Velasco said.

“By suspending regular office work and other preventive measures, we hope to contribute to the government’s effort in preventing a surge of infection that could possibly put our health care system in serious jeopardy,” the House leader added.

Velasco assured the public that these measures will not prevent the chamber from performing its task of crafting laws that will help the country deal with the ongoing pandemic.