The House of Representatives, under the leadership of Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, passed several measures before going on recess.
The House approved on third and final reading House Bill 8999 or the proposed “Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) Act.”
It garnered 195 affirmative and six negative votes, without any abstention.
HB 8999 seeks to organize a group of trained and equipped medical and health-related personnel for the rapid mobilization during national or local public health emergencies, which require manpower support to reinforce capabilities of national agencies and local government units.
The Medical Reserve Corps would include licensed physicians, medical students who have completed four years of a medical course, graduates of medicine, and registered nurses.
The MRC, under the Department of Health (DOH), which is tasked to support the country’s health system would include licensed physicians, medical students who have completed four years of a medical course, graduates of medicine and registered nurses, as well as licensed allied health professionals.
Through its passage, the President of the Philippines would also have the power to mobilize the MRC nationwide in case of a declaration of a state of war, state of lawless violence or a state of calamity.
House members unanimously approved HB 8990 seeking to establish evacuation centers in every city and municipality.
Meanwhile, with 195 affirmative votes, House members unanimously approved HB 8990, seeking to establish evacuation centers in every city and municipality.
When signed into law, it would ensure the safety of Filipinos particularly during emergencies and disasters through these fully-equipped and fully-operational evacuation centers.
It would likewise address the need to prioritize vulnerable individuals, including senior citizens, persons with disabilities, children, and pregnant women, who are more at risk for diseases in congested evacuation centers.
Other bills of national significance that hurdled third and final reading included HB 8783 or the proposed “Private Security Industry Act”; HB 8818, strengthening the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation regulatory framework; HB 8943 or the proposed “Language Accessibility of Public Information on Disasters Act”; HB 8736 or the proposed “Rental Housing Subsidy Program Act”; HB 8817 or the proposed “Freelance Workers Protection Act”; HB 8992 or the proposed “Promotion of Digital Payments Act”; and HB 8986 renaming Terminals 1 and 2 of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport to “Lapulapu Domestic Terminal” and “Lapulapu International Terminal,” respectively.
Deputy Speakers Wes Gatchalian and Kristine Singson-Meehan presided over the plenary session.
The House would continue to conduct committee meetings and public hearings during the session break to ensure the delivery of necessary services, especially during the pandemic.