Senate 'business as usual' despite Metro Manila quarantine: Sotto

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 13 2020 07:49 PM

MANILA - The Senate will not suspend work but will enforce a skeletal schedule while Metro Manila is on community quarantine, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Friday.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier suspended work in executive offices in the capital region from March 15 to April 14 as the government barred travel to and from Metro Manila to limit public movement to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Duterte said the work schedule of offices under the legislative and judiciary would be up to their leaders.

"I wish to assure our people that the Senate will continue to function and there will be no disruption in our mandate as public officials," Sotto said in a statement.

"It will be business as usual at the Senate, but employees will be on skeletal schedule and will need to strictly adhere to precautionary measures set in place to ensure that the chamber stays COVID-free," the statement read.

The Senate annually suspends its session for 2 months for its Holy Week break, but employees still come to work during the period to process the filing of bills, requests for assistance and other related tasks.

The Senate was placed on "restricted access" earlier this week after a resource person in a March 5 hearing tested positive for COVID-19.

At least 10 senators voluntarily isolated themselves as a "precautionary measure."