House passes bill granting Duterte anti-red tape powers

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House passes bill granting Duterte anti-red tape powers

( – October 16, 2020 – 10:54pm

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives voting 267-6 passed Friday the bill seeking to grant the president special powers to expedite and streamline the processing of national and local permits during a national emergency, such as the coronavirus pandemic.

The proposal also seeks to give the president the authority to suspend or waive requirements in securing those documents.

If passed into law, the president will also have the power to suspend or remove, upon the determination of a competent body, government officials and employees who fail to comply with the measure.

The measure was passed just a day after it was filed by lawmakers led by House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez.

The House convened itself into the Committee of the Whole past 2 a.m. on Friday to pass the proposal at the committee level and thereafter passed it immediately on second reading.

The measure, certified by President Rodrigo Duterte as urgent, earlier passed the Senate. — Xave Gregorio