By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The House of Representatives, in the wee hours of early Tuesday morning (March 24) formed the Defeat COVID-19 Adhoc Committee.
It was Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano who moved for the creation of such a panel, after the Lower Chamber approved on third and final reading House Bill No. 6616 or the proposed Bayanihan to Heal As One Act.
“If I don’t hear any objection, we will form an adhoc committee called the Defeat COVID-19 Committee and together with the Filipino people, we will defeat COVID-19,” he said in his speech after the approval of HB 6616.
The motion was approved by the House plenary during the historic special session, which started on Monday at 10 a.m.
“This committee will be a working committee. We will do a lot a work from home. We will do it through digital. There will be a lot of meetings,” Cayetano said.
Majority Leader and Leyte 1st district Rep. Martin Romualdez moved for the election of Cayetano as chairman of the newly-formed adhoc panel.
“I will accept only if the Majority Leader will be the co-chair,” Cayetano said.
Romualdez gave in to Cayetano’s request and will co-chair the panel.
Cayetano welcomed all House Members who would want to volunteer and join the Defeat COVID-19 Committee.
“May I suggest [those] who want to participate will be members of the committee and that we will formulate sub-committees,” he said.
During the plenary, Cayetano asked House Minority Leader and Manila Bienvenido Abante Jr. if he would like to be a member of the panel, to which the latter agreed.
He also clarified that the lawmakers would never compare themselves to the frontliners who risk their lives serving the Filipinos.