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Marcos certifies as urgent Senate bill

March 25, 2023 Jester P. Manalastas 225 views

PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has certified as urgent the Senate Bill. 1869, its version of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) bill.

Principal author of the House version HB 6522, Albay Rep. Joey Salceda expressed gratitude to Marcos for issuing a certificate of urgency for the said measure.

House Bill 6522 or the Philippine Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) Act, was already approved in the Lower Chamber last year.

“I thank President Marcos for boosting this measure, which will protect us from the pandemics that will inevitably happen again in the future. Pandemics are now cyclical – and our preparedness must be permanent,” Salceda said.

Marcos’s certification allows the Senate to discuss the bill in plenary and approve it on third reading on the same day.

“I filed this bill in January 2020, on the afternoon of a meeting with members of the Sin Tax Coalition. We celebrated the passage of the Duterte administration’s Sin Tax measures, but we also knew that something big was looming,” he said.

“My initial version contained several health emergency provisions that were written in anticipation of necessary lockdowns, quarantines, and continued disease surveillance. Of course, legislation is a compromise so that the bill evolves through the different stages, and is more institutional than a matter of broader health emergency powers,” the veteran solon added.

Salceda said that with the certificate of urgency from President Marcos, he expects that the Senate will fast-track the approval of the measure.

“It got stuck last time due to some fundamental disagreements on the structure of the institution. But now that the Presidential imprimatur is clear and undeniable, I am almost certain President Marcos will have the law on his desk right before his first SONA,” he stressed.