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Philippine president seeks powers over firms, supplies, funds to avert crisis

ArnoldZArnoldZ Member PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
edited March 23 in Local and Foreign Issues


Philippine president seeks powers over firms, supplies, funds to avert crisis

By Martin Petty and Neil Jerome Morales
ReutersMarch 22, 2020
Philippine president seeks powers over firms supplies funds to avert crisis
FILE PHOTO: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures during his fourth State of the Nation Address at the Philippine Congress in Quezon City

By Martin Petty and Neil Jerome Morales

MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippine Congress held a special session over the internet on Monday to debate a push by the country's strongman leader to adopt sweeping emergency powers, in a bid to avert chaos from a rapid spread of coronavirus.

With borders closed to foreigners and tens of millions of people on home quarantine, President Rodrigo Duterte wants the power to - where necessary - control supplies and public utilities, order businesses to help government, and pull funds from state enterprises and departmental budgets to redirect into emergency health needs.

If approved, the granting of the powers would be one of the most aggressive steps to tackle coronavirus as governments worldwide roll out stricter measures, including across Southeast Asia, which saw a more than doubling of cases in the past week to nearly 3,700, from 166 a month ago.

The Philippines has confirmed 396 cases and 33 deaths, but health officials acknowledge limited testing for the coronavirus means its already overstretched health system could be facing far more infections than the numbers indicate.

"It is a step we were reluctant to take, but the circumstances and the experience of nations worldwide convinced us that we have no other choice," Duterte's Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea told a near-empty Congress, with most lawmakers streaming the session at home.

The Philippines was the first Southeast Asian country to adopt lockdown measures, but more are following suit as cases soar, with Vietnam and Malaysia deploying soldiers to help with quarantines or to enforce curbs on travel and gatherings.

Indonesia's capital, Jakarta, has joined Thailand and Cambodia in shutting bars, cinemas and public entertainment venues.

A draft of Duterte's bill seen by Reuters seeks a "unified national policy" that would, if required, allow the government to temporarily take control of private utilities, telecoms and transport operators or businesses in the public interest, and force hotels, venues and rental properties to accommodate medical workers or quarantine facilities.

It could also control roads, prices, supplies and distribution of power, fuel and goods like food, water, cleaning products, clothing and medical supplies, imported or made domestically.

It would also grant the treasury the ability to take back departmental funds to spend on critical or essential services.

Duterte's has a supermajority in both chambers, so the bill is expected to pass, although the opposition is concerned about the scope of the powers and potential for abuse.

The government is playing down the extent of the powers that Duterte would have, wary of public unease over emergency decrees and draconian measures dating back to the 1970s, under the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Medialdea said the measures would be rescinded when the virus was managed and many would be "standby powers" for if a crisis erupted and "our most critical institutions are nearing a total shutdown.

https://news.yahoo.com/philippine-president-seeks-powers-over-054627861.html

What does he need emergency powers for?

He can do whatever he wants, already. And every sectors, private, public snd citizens are cooperating.

No leader of any affected country ever invoked emergency powers! Is he that insecure that he thinks he will be impotent without such. 

And was Panelo lying when he denied that Duterte asked Congress for emergency powers?

Emergency powers? Good or bad idea?

Comments

  • QT IIQT II Bee-doh bee-doh bee-doh bee PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    I'm all for it...we need IMMEDIATE, DECISIVE action, that which President Duterte is providing (even if many are already suspecting MARTIAL LAW)

    Just imagine how VP Leni or even former President Noynoy Aquino would have handled it if they were in said position....
  • TrollmasterTrollmaster PEx Rookie ⭐
    edited March 25
    QT II said:
    I'm all for it...we need IMMEDIATE, DECISIVE action, that which President Duterte is providing (even if many are already suspecting MARTIAL LAW)

    Just imagine how VP Leni or even former President Noynoy Aquino would have handled it if they were in said position....

    If Leni and Noynoy Aquino handled this, there would have been more deaths because those two are very incompetent!  :rofl:   
  • so that he can close down the likes of  Rappler, ABS-CBN, Maynilad, etc.

    lahat daw ng may atraso sa may Mahal na Datu Duterte, kailangan ipa-aresto, i-*****, at putulan ng ulo.
  • Juan Plus OneJuan Plus One Pexer of the Year! PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    President Di Gong does not need extra powers.

    What he needs to do is to APOLOGIZE to the Filipino people for failure to act. 

    He failed to act when he had the chance at the earliest possible.  

    He took the virus lightly and was more worried about his diplomatic relationship with China and its leader than the welfare of its people.

    Unfortunately, some people are too dumb to realize it.  Maraming pa ring nauuto si Comrade Di Gong.


  • libren_anginlibren_angin Member PEx Rookie ⭐
    come on , not even one county predicted this disaster . every country is trying to react properly in order fight and beat it. it's useless to blame . 
  • it's getting worse. In Vietname, 2 biggest cities have asked businesses to close. Most of the cases are from outside of Vietnam. Foreigners as tourists, exchange students from overseas (mostly from europe and the U.S). however, there has not been any death yet. That's beautiful thing.
    You guys can update the latest COVID-19 news, tips and updates in Covid-19 in Philkotse.com. They ave linked to the most qualified source to inform readers with the latest changes in COVID-19 cases all over the world.
  • come on , not even one county predicted this disaster . every country is trying to react properly in order fight and beat it. it's useless to blame . 
    oh really? and how much post did you post around here all Pro-China, Pro-Duterte, anti-US?

    like we don't see any similarities at all.

    Buking ka na, boy!

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