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House may hold session online if Luzon ECQ still in effect by May 4

The House of Representatives may have to hold its session on May 4 online if the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine is still in effect by then, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said Tuesday.

During the virtual meeting of the House Defeat COVID-19 Committee, Cayetano said that the House of Representatives will convene for the resumption of its sessions on May 4, in accordance with its legislative calendar.

The Senate and the House of Representative are currently on a recess and they are expected to go back in session on the said date.

"Definitely, magco-convene kami. Kung naka-enhanced community quarantine pa, maaaring online pa rin yung aming gagawin na session," Cayetano said.

"So we're playing it by ear and waiting for the President's announcement on April 30," he added.

The Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine is in effect until April 30, but there have been calls to extend it as the country continues to grapple with the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Senate President Vicente Sotto III has already said he is keen to resume the Senate's session on May 4 even if the enhanced community quarantine is extended.

Economic Recovery Act

A measure is currently being proposed in the House to help mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the country's economy.

The proposal, introduced by Albay Representative Joey Salceda and Marikina City Representative Stella Quimbo, will be called the "Philippine Economic Recovery Act."

Cayetano said they are still waiting for the executive's version of the proposal and the input of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, but they are also already hearing the measure in a technical working group.

"We'll fast-track all of this and kung merong certificate of urgency ang Malacañang just like the Bayanihan to Heal As One, more time is better," he said.

"Regardless of the new normal, we commit that Congress will be relevant, reliable and responsive," he added.

As of Tuesday, there are 6,599 cases of COVID-19 reported in the Philippines, with 437 deaths and 654 recoveries. — DVM, GMA News