No presidential certification for Bayanihan 2 bill – Malacañang

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The President did not certify as urgent the second Bayanihan bill that was supposed to extend extra powers for the Chief Executive for three months to address the COVID-19 health crisis, his spokesperson said Thursday. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 4) — The President did not certify as urgent the second Bayanihan bill that was supposed to extend extra powers for the Chief Executive for three months to address the COVID-19 health crisis, his spokesperson said Thursday.

"We wish to announce that Malacañang will not certify as urgent the extension of the Bayanihan We Heal as One Act, for now," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque told reporters.

The message came moments after the Senate adjourned its first regular session. Senators waited the whole day for Malacañang to certify the bill as urgent so they could pass it on third and final reading.

Senate Bill 1546 or the Bayanihan We Recover As One bill earmarked ₱140 billion for programs including subsidies for affected sectors until September 30 this year.

The new bill follows the Bayanihan We Heal As One Act signed in March which gave the President extra powers to counter the pandemic. It will lapse on June 24.

But some senators earlier said Duterte's special powers may expire when Congress adjourns in line with the Constitution.

"If the Constitution is interpreted strictly where it says that emergency powers cease upon the next adjournment of Congress then yes it would expire," said Senator Sonny Angara.

Article VI of the Constitution says "Unless sooner withdrawn by resolution of the Congress, such powers shall cease upon the next adjournment thereof," referring to powers given to the President during a national emergency.