President Rodrigo Duterte needs the extension of special powers to address the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic that continues to grapple the country, Malacañang said on Wednesday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said extending Duterte’s emergency powers is necessary to allow the government to augment the medical supplies for the treatment of Covid-19, as well as to supervise some private hospitals that are attending to the needs of virus-infected individuals.
“Of course, we would need to have emergency powers again,” Roque affirmed.
Republic Act (RA) 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, which gives Duterte temporary emergency powers to fight Covid-19, is set to expire on June 25.
Congress, however, adjourned sine die on June 5 without passing a bill that would extend Duterte’s emergency powers.
“The emergency power is important in this case because if they (private hospitals) don’t comply and if they don’t allot additional beds for Covid-19 patients, then we may have to take over some of these hospitals and hire our own nurses and doctors to man them. So that’s the importance of emergency powers,” Roque said.