A senior leader of the House of Representatives has appealed to the Senate to expedite the passage of its version of the House-approved Better Normal bill that prescribes a comprehensive approach to strict mandatory safety and physical distancing protocols aimed at containing coronavirus 2019 infections.
“The Congress needs to pass new legislation on a whole-of-society approach to stringent mandatory safety and social distancing norms meant to make our communities, offices, business establishments and public places safe enough until such time that a vaccine or cure for
the highly infectious and lethal COVID-19 already exists and is commercially available to all,” Deputy Speaker Luis Raymund Villafuerte said.
The congressman from Camarines Sur made the statement following the House of Representatives unanimous approval on third and final reading this week, by a 242-0 vote, House Bill 6864 or the Better Normal for the Workplace, Communities and Public Spaces Act of 2020,
that he and Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and 240 other legislators authored.
Villafuerte, the deputy speaker for finance, appealed to senators to “help Filipinos best adapt to the new world order by passing their own version of the ’Better Normal’ bill at this time
when the World Health Organization itself is bracing for a protracted pandemic and has called on countries to safeguard against what it called ‘a new and dangerous phase’ of the Covid-19 contagion.”
Villafuerte said the Better Normal bill would “go a long way in helping the people live their lives safely over the next year at the least or until such time when a vaccine or cure for COVID-19 is developed and becomes available for commercial production and sale.”
Aside from prescribing the obligatory health and safety protocols like social distancing, frequent hand-washing and use of facial masks in public to avoid COVID-19 infection, Villafuerte said HB 6864 will clear the way to the speedy migration of the economy to digitalization, which has become indispensable in the face of the COVID-19 contagion that has thus far infected over 130,000 people and killed some 2,000 of them in the Philippines.