MANILA – The House of Representatives Committee of the Whole on Wednesday night approved a substitute bill extending the Bayanihan To Heal As One Act until September 2020 to give President Rodrigo Duterte additional time to address the pandemic.
The lower House constituted itself into a Committee of the Whole to consider House Bills 6811, 6868, 6952,and House Resolution 910 or the extension of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act until September 30, 2020.
Republic Act 11649 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act was only valid for 3 months. It was signed by President Duterte March 24, 2020.
Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate objected to the Committee of the Whole, but House members voted to approve the motion.
Normally bills are referred to the appropriate standing committee of the House. When the House constitutes itself into a Committee of the Whole, it functions as one committee acting upon a bill or resolution, and conducting its proceedings like a regular committee with its membership composed of all the members of the House.
Majority Leader Martin Romualdez presided over the Committee of the Whole. Bulacan Rep. Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado sponsored the measures during the committee proceedings.
Citing the need to finish the bill quickly, Pampanga Rep. Mikey Arroyo moved to forego interpellation at the committee level and save it for the plenary.
House Bill 6952 was then adopted as the working bill in substitution of the original measures. The committee report covering the adopted substitute bill was then approved for submission to the plenary.
The lower House is rushing to approve the bill before it adjourns its first regular session Thursday, sine die.