House suspends session until Friday amid increase in COVID-19 cases

(Eagle News) — The House of Representatives has suspended its plenary sessions for the rest of the week.

In a statement, Speaker Lord Allan Velasco said the decision to suspend was arrived at  due to the continuing increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila.

“Since the start of the year, more than 70 House members and employees have contracted the virus and many others are undergoing quarantine or self-isolation after exhibiting symptoms or having close contact with people who tested positive for COVID-19,” he said.

Nevertheless, he said “we continue to fulfill our constitutional duty of enacting laws that promote the interests and welfare of our people, while taking restrictive yet necessary measures to create a safe environment for House members and employees.”

He noted that on Monday, for instance, 19 bills were approved on third and final reading.

The Department of Health has said the Philippines was at a critical risk for COVID-19.

The department said in Metro Manila, in particular, there was a community transmission of the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

The DOH said the country has yet to reach the peak of COVID-19 cases, with cases possibly doubling the following month.