Senate set to hold sessions through videoconferencing, remote means


Posted at May 03 2020 01:03 AM

MANILA—The Senate is expected to adopt a resolution that will allow them to hold sessions through teleconferencing, once the Congress convenes on Monday.

In a statement Saturday, the Senate said it will resume sessions and hold them via video conferences due to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said a majority of senators is expected to physically attend the session, in which they will pass Senate Resolution No. 372, which seeks to amend Senate rules to “allow the conduct of plenary sessions and committee hearings through teleconference, video conference, or other reliable forms of remote or electronic means.”

Senators who have signed the resolution are:

  • Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto
  • Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri
  • Minority Leader Franklin Drilon
  • Sen. Sonny Angara 
  • Sen. Nancy Binay 
  • Sen. Pia Cayetano 
  • Sen. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa 
  • Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian 
  • Sen. Lito Lapid 
  • Sen. Imee Marcos 
  • Sen. Manny Pacquiao 
  • Sen. Grace Poe 
  • Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. 
  • Sen. Joel Villanueva 
  • Sen. Cynthia Villar

Sen. Panfilo Lacson is expected to sign the resolution on Monday.

Sotto had said that the extended lockdown in Metro Manila and other areas with high cases of COVID-19 will not affect the resumption of the Congress' regular session.

The legislative branch set its work schedule from 9 a.m to 4 p.m.

“However, employees assigned to the plenary session or who perform session-related functions may be required to render services beyond the said work schedule,” Senate secretary Myra Marie Villarica said.

The Senate is also expected to adopt a resolution expressing condolences to the family of former Sen. Heherson Alvarez, who died of COVID-19 last April 20.