“Nakakalungkot!” Sotto saddened after one senator voted “no” to the bill giving Duterte special powers to address COVID-19

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Senate President Vicente Sotto III expressed his sadness after a lone senator voted against the bill that giving President Rodrigo Duterte additional powers to address the COVID-19 crisis in the Philippines.

Bill 1418, also known as “We BAYANIHAN TO Heal As One Act” both passed the lower and the upper houses, but Sotto still couldn’t hide his frustration that one senator still voted against it despite the need already to address the COVID-19 problem.

According to the Senate records, there are 19 Senators who voted in favor of the bill, while only one voted against.

“Nakakalungkot isipin na kahit kailangan tulungan ang hirap na 18M Filipinos at mga Frontline health workers, meron Pa rin nakuhang bumoto ng contra!” Sotto said.

“Technically, 19 voted in favor, no abstention and I against. 12 voted on the floor,” he added.

News reports said that the lone Senator who voted ‘no’ is Senator Risa Hontiveros, a known critic of President Rodrigo Duterte.

On her past tweets, Hontiveros already opposed the plan of giving President Duterte special powers to address the problem in the country.

She said that the government should do mass testing as soon as possible instead of giving extra powers to the President.

“We don’t need more executive powers now. We need more COVID-19 tests right now instead. #MassTestingNowPH,especially sa mga pinaka-high risk kagaya ng ating mga health workers,frontliners,elderly at immunocompromised. We need more PPEs for our frontline health workers,too!” Hontiveros said.

“We don’t need more centralization now. Instead, we need to support & complement LGU initiatives, allocate for economic safety nets for poor families, & provide more health facilities for the care of COVID-19 patients,” she added.

“The people need real solutions w/in an overall health strategy to contain COVID-19 & protect the public’s well-being: -more funds to expand our health capacity; -more economic safety nets; &, -more testing & care for COVID-19 patients. Not more powers for the Pres.” she also said.

The bill approved by Congress showed that the health departments would receive additional funding from savings.

It also hastens the procurement of goods like protective gear for health workers, testing kits and medical supplies.

Public and private health workers who will get severely infected by COVID-19 while on duty will also be entitled to receive P100,000 from the government, while P1-M will be given if the medical practitioners die from the disease.

The bill also mandated the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation to shoulder the hospitalization cost of all health workers who will contract the disease.

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