Manila, June 2 -- A lawmaker at the House of Representatives has filed a resolution seeking to extend the session until June 11 to give Congress more time to pass bills related to the government's response against the coronavirus pandemic.
Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez filed on Monday House Concurrent Resolution No. 8, amending the legislative calendar for the first regular session of the 18th Congress to give it additional time to pass vital legislation during the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath. A copy of the bill was sent to the media on Tuesday.
Covid-19 pending bills include the Accelerated Recovery and Intervention Stimulus for the Economy (ARISE), Covid-19 related anti-discrimination bill, the Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer (FIST) bill, the Covid-19 unemployment reduction economic stimulus bill, and the bill on a "better normal" for the workplace and public spaces.
"There are other measures still pending, including various bills mandating the establishment of pop-up bicycle lanes for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Crushing Covid-19 Act and my proposal to extend the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act by three months," he said.
Rodriguez cited that under Section 15 of Article VI of the Constitution stating that Congress "shall convene once every year on the fourth Monday of July for its regular session.and shall continue to be in session for such number of days as it may determine until 30 days before the opening of the next regular session, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays."
Under the current legislative calendar, the House and the Senate are scheduled to go on their annual mandatory adjournment on Friday.
Other lawmakers have appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to call on Congress to convene a special session during the mandatory recess.
Rodriguez said under the same Section 15 of Article VI of the Constitution, the President is authorized to ask lawmakers to convene in a special session any time during their break.