A House of Representatives ad hoc committee on the COVID-19 crisis began forming various sub-committees in preparation for the implementation of a law granting President Duterte emergency powers.
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Deputy Speaker and Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte, who sponsored the House-approved version of Republic Act 11469, said the ad hoc panel is set to meet online this week to complete the composition of the subcommittees.
House Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and his wife, Tingog party-list Rep. Yedda Marie K. Romualdez, meanwhile, urged Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to expedite the accreditation of screening centers to boost the government’s fight against COVID-19.
The legislators noted that several local governments have started establishing their own screening centers.
They welcomed the scheduled onsite assessment by a team from the Department of Health and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) of the first testing center for COVID-19 in EasternVisayas.
“We call on the DOH to assist local governments working on the establishment of their own testing centers to arrest the COVID-19 pandemic. Their guidance and expertise are needed to ensure that testing centers are compliant with the standards,” they said in a joint statement.
Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs on Monday said the number of overseas Filipinos who have been infected with COVID-19 rose to 335.
Figures from the DFA showed that 220 of the Filipinos are undergoing treatment while 111 patients have recovered.
Also, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has extended its original 16-day lockdown period until further notice.
In an advisory, the DFA advised Filipinos working there to check with their employer or agency for upcoming trips to Saudi Arabia and to adjust their travel plans accordingly.
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