Press Release
July 27, 2020

In the battle vs COVID-19, the Senate will fight for and in behalf of the people -- Sotto

The Senate buckles down to work Monday, July 27, 2020 as the nation, which not too long ago was dubbed as the second fastest-growing Asian country behind China, is now facing recession due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

With 17 of 24 senators physically present at the session hall and six others attending via video conferencing, Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III banged the gavel to mark the start of the 2ndRegular Session of the 18thCongress.

While legislators in the coming days would be busy crafting laws that would help recover the economy and thus would benefit the people, the setting would be far from traditional as some senators, especially those with co-morbidities, might opt to be virtually working via the internet.

Health protocols have been established, from the entrance of the building up to the session hall at the second floor.

Based on the guidelines issued by Senate Secretary Myra Marie Villarica, all those who were physically present during the opening ceremonies underwent the rapid test for COVID-19.

Unlike the past opening ceremonies, the gallery at the session hall was empty. Family members of the senators, former senators, government officials and members of the diplomatic corps were instead invited to view the proceedings virtually.

In this battle against the pandemic, Sotto said the Senate will be proposing laws that will benefit the people.

"The Senate has promptly responded to the needs of our nation. Still, the Senate is ready to do more," Sotto said, as he pledged that "the Senate will fight for and in behalf of the Filipino people."

"As long as we share the burden of the COVID19 pandemic with other countries of the world, we must continue to work towards saving lives and easing our common anxiety," the Senate chief said.

"As representatives of the people, it behooves upon your senators to stand as vanguards in this national health crisis. More than ever, we are determined to give voice to your needs," he added.

He said the 2ndRegular Session of the 18thCongress will focus on issues that would "upgrade and improve the digital highway in support of various communication and online transactional needs."

The Senate is also ready to craft laws that would also support distance learning, he said.

"As we stay isolated, we must not neglect a generation of young people who would otherwise be deprived of advancing in their studies. We must support programs that will help the education sector migrate to more plausible learning platforms," Sotto said.

He said the legislature will also address the lack of public transport system as the crisis has had a significant impact on it.

"In order to help revive our economy, it is imperative to have a safe, efficient, and dependable public transport system that will ferry workers so that industries may again produce goods and services; and people can resume earning incomes to spend," he said.

On the business sector, he said the government can help entrepreneurs find their place in the emerging business landscape by reassessing tariffs so as to ease business burdens where appropriate, as well as providing the means for new ventures to flourish.

The Senate President further said support for artists and writers should also be prioritized.

"Great civilizations before us endured not only because they had material wealth, but because they lived a life nurtured by writers and artists," he said.

News Latest News Feed