Senate Could Suspend Sessions During Metro Manila ECQ: Sotto

For the safety of the chamber's employees.
Photo/s: Senate PRIB

The Senate might have to suspend its sessions during the implementation of enhanced community quarantine or ECQ in Metro Manila from Aug. 6 to 20 to ensure the safety of the chamber's employees who have been physically reporting for work.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Saturday said senators will still meet for their regular session on a hybrid setup this week, but they will "play it by ear" if the sessions can be done virtually or not come Aug. 6.

"If not, we have to suspend during the time of the ECQ because we are not worried about ourselves, we are worried about the employees of the Senate," he told DWIZ in an interview.

"Yung staff ang problema e, hindi naman kami... Hindi naman lahat may sasakyan, yung iba, nagco-commute, tapos kahit na i-skeletal namin yun, ganoon pa rin, medyo masusubo sa alanganin yung mga empleyado namin," he added.

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Metro Manila will be placed under ECQ anew for two weeks to contain the spread of the more contagious Delta coronavirus variant. From Aug. 1 to 5, the capital region would remain under general community quarantine with "heightened" restrictions.

Should the Senate suspend sessions during the ECQ period, Sotto said the senators will have to work double time this week to tackle as many measures as possible, including the economic measures that President Rodrigo Duterte urged Congress to work on during his last State of the Nation Address.

"Yung two-weeks na yun, malaki ang kakainin sa oras namin noon. Meron pa kasing naka-pending na mga mahalaga e. Well, we will see," he said.

He reiterated that the filing of certificates of candidacy for the 2022 elections by the first week of October will not interfere with their work in the Senate.

"Pagdating ng Oct. 1, filing lang yun, it does not mean na campaign period na so trabaho pa rin kami," he said.

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"February 6 pa yung campaign period. Hindi kami allowed magkampanya from the time that we filed up to February 6. Trabaho, trabaho lang muna," he added.

Sotto earlier announced that he will be running for vice president in the 2022 polls with Sen. Panfilo Lacson for president.

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