Senate on lockdown until March 30

WITH 26 employees afflicted with  coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), Senate President Vicente Sotto 3rd saw the need to place the entire building under lockdown until March 30.

The senator made the move upon the recommendation of the Senate dental and medical department to disinfect the building.

Sotto said there would be no session on March 29 and March 30. Session would resume on Mar.31.

“We will have no session on Monday and Tuesday because of the lockdown,” the Senate chief said.

He continued, “So, we will resume on Wednesday because of very important undertakings that the Senate has to do, especially the Commission on Appointments (CA),” Sotto said.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, during the session, has informed Sotto that the House of Representatives was “also going on lockdown.”

“We have 24 confirmed Covid-19 cases from our personnel and Congress (House of Representatives) I believe has 28. So, humahabol na tayo [sadly, we’re catching up],” he said.

“I believe [there are] 80 [active Covid-19 cases] at the GSIS (Government Service Insurance System) — itong katabi natin (adjacent to us),” Zubiri added.

The bicameral CA will hold its last day of deliberating the ad interim appointments of some senior military officers on March 31 as Congress goes on a month-long lenten break on April 1.

“We have to declare a lockdown from tonight, up to Tuesday evening. That is a reason that we have to accommodate these local bills that had been languishing in the shadows for quite some time already,” Sotto said.

“If we do not do anything now, we will not be able to take it up next week. It will have to be taken up on the 17th and 18th of May,” the Senate chief added.

Five senators contracted Covid-19 in 2020. They were Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel 3rd, and Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri.