Proposed Bayanihan To Recover As One Act reaches House plenary
MANILA, Philippines — The proposed Bayanihan to Recover As One Act, a supplement bill to the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act, which granted President Rodrigo Duterte special powers to address the coronavirus pandemic, has reached the House floor.
In his sponsorship speech, Deputy Speaker Luis Raymund Villafuerte said that House Bill No. 6953 would provide Filipinos with various forms of relief during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
These include an emergency subsidy to workers, cash-for-work programs, prevention and control of other diseases, support programs for impacted sectors, and support for the agricultural sector.
“It encompasses subsidies for displaced workers from regular employees to contract workers, displaced OFWs, students both in public and private institutions, [micro, small, medium enterprises] as well as farmers and fisherfolk,” Villafuerte said.
During the interpellation for the second reading approval of the measure, Villafuerte explained that the measure was “actually a new and enhanced version” of the Bayanihan To Heal As One Act.
“[The Bayanihan To Recover As One Act] contains similar provisions as contained in the Bayanihan To Heal As One Act. But this is a new and enhanced version — meaning we have put in improved [and] enhanced provisions that will help the economy bounce back and help our people, also the affected sectors cope with the COVID-19,” Villafuerte said.
The bill seeks P162-billion standby fund which “shall be used to support operations and response measures to address the COVID-19 pandemic.”
It will be allocated as follows:
- P12 billion for the procurement of PCR testing and extraction kits, supplies and materials for COVID-19 testing and for the enhancement of DOH capacity to provide healthcare services
- P18 billion for the implementation of cash-for-work program and the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD)
- P5 billion for the implementation of the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
- P21 billion for unemployment or involuntary separation assistance to the displaced workers in health, education, tourism, culture and arts, creative industry, transportation and other sectors affected by the pandemic
- P50 billion for infusion of capital to government financial institutions
- P21 billion support to the agriculture sector
- P21 billion assistance to the critically impacted businesses in the transportation industry and for the development of accessible sidewalks and protected bicycle lanes
- P10 billion to finance DOT programs to assist impacted businesses in the tourism industry
- P3 billion assistance to state universities and colleges for their transition to flexible learning modality
- P1 billion assistance to Technical Education and Skills Development Authority for the development of smart campuses
Before the bill reached the plenary floor in House, the lower chamber convened into a committee of the whole to approve the measure.
The Senate, meanwhile, has approved on second reading its version of the measure.
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