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'Sarap ng buhay' no more: Remaining Senate sessions to be held in person

Angelica Y. Yang - Philstar.com
'Sarap ng buhay' no more: Remaining Senate sessions to be held in person
Senate Resolution 372, adopted by the Senate on May 4, 2020, allows the Upper House to join sessions through teleconferencing- resulting from force majeure or national emergencies as determined by majority of the senators. 
Official Gazette, file

MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III said that they will not be holding hybrid sessions starting Monday, which means that senators will have to attend in person.

Sotto first brought up the topic during a Senate session on Thursday, asking the Committee on Rules to look into suspending an earlier resolution allowing hybrid sessions as a precaution against COVID-19.

"We have to show the people that we are working...Face-to-face [classes] na eh. Bakit 'yung mga senador hindi face-to-face? (Why can't senators attend face-to-face?)," Sotto said. 

"We will have no hybrid [meetings] on Monday," he added.

Senate Majority Floor Leader Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri, who chairs the Committee on Rules, said that Sotto could make the ruling to suspend the resolution right away.

Speaking on behalf of other lawmakers, Zubiri said they "do not have any objections." 

Senate Resolution 372, adopted by the Senate on May 4, 2020, allows the Upper House to join sessions through teleconferencing- resulting from force majeure or national emergencies as determined by majority of the senators. 

"We made use of this particular rule because there was... an emergency, but there is no longer an emergency. The worst is Alert Level 1," he said, referring to the lowest alert level status which Metro Manila is under, following a decline of COVID-19 cases. 

There are at least three session days left in the 18th Congress, which will close on June 30, the day when the president-elect assumes office. On Thursday, senators met physically and virtually to discuss pending legislation and approved four bills on third and final reading. 

HYBRID

MIGZ ZUBIRI

SENATE

TITO SOTTO

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