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COVID-19 WATCH

Cayetano: ‘Bayanihan’ Act constitutional

Keith A. Calayag

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House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Wednesday stressed that the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act is constitutional, saying that the House of Representatives followed rules in approving the then proposed measure.

“We would like to assure the Filipino people that the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act of 2019, which empowers the Executive to effectively deal with the threat of COVID-19 in the Philippines, is not only constitutional – it is a landmark piece of legislation that shows the good that we can do if we work together,” said Cayetano on a social media post.

The statement comes after Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said that the deliberations and voting on the bill were unlawful as the chamber allowed lawmakers who are not physically present to participate via electronic channels.

This unprecedented move for Lagman is not legal because “the innovation was not validly effected by a proper amendment of the existing pertinent House rule or practice requiring the physical presence of members in the plenary hall for the determination of a quorum and ascertainment of the requisite vote.”

Responding to this, Cayetano said the House of Representatives followed all the rules during its special session.

“Despite the misgivings of Rep. Lagman, Congress made sure to follow all the rules, while applying a healthy dose of practicality, in the conduct of the Special

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