By Charissa Luci-Atienza
Members of the newly-formed Defeat COVID-19 Committee (DCC) have started rolling up their sleeves to help the government win its battle against the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), and are set to meet online this week.
This was disclosed by Deputy Speaker and Camarines Sur 2nd district Rep. Luis Raymund “LRay” Villafuerte Jr. to the Manila Bulletin when asked if the ad hoc panel, chaired by Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, already started its work and has identified the composition of its members.
“We have already started working and we will probably meet via online this week,” he told the Manila Bulletin in a text message.
The DCC is co-chaired by House Majority Leader and Leyte 1st district Rep. Martin Romualdez.
“Under the committee, we will have sub-committees such as health , local government, disaster management, and all related committees for this COVID crisis,” Villafuerte, a member of the panel, said.
He added that members of the House Committees on Social Services, and Labor and Employment will be part of the ad hoc panel.
“We are finalizing the sub-committees today,” he said.
Villafuerte is one of the principal authors of Republic Act No. 11469, the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act of 2020, which has been signed by President Duterte.
During the historic online special session, the House of Representatives formed in the wee hours of early Tuesday morning the ad hoc panel to support the work of the eight-man Joint Congressional Committee, which was created under the newly-signed law.
The Oversight Committee is mandated to determine whether the President’s acts, orders, rules, and regulations are within the restrictions provided under the law.
“This committee will be a working committee. We will do a lot of work from home. We will do it through digital [communications]. There will be a lot of meetings,” Cayetano said in his final remarks after the House of Representatives passed HB 6616 on third and final reading.