Cayetano: Gov’t can do more in responding to COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines — For House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, the government “can do more” in responding to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Cayetano said that while different government agencies have been working hard to address the pandemic, there is still so much that the government can do.
“We can do more. I think even the President is not satisfied. Meaning, it is what it is but there’s definitely much more than we can do,” Cayetano said in an interview with CNN Philippines on Friday.
“So I do think that all the departments are working very hard, walang natutulog sa pansitan ika nga (no one is sleeping on it) even Congress. But I do think that there’s so much more that can be done,” he added.
The House Speaker said that one of the measures that can be improved is the coordination and cooperation between the national and local governments.
Cayetano said that there are two stimulus bills that Congress is working on—the proposed Accelerated Recovery and Investments Stimulus for the Economy (ARISE) Act and the COVID-19 Unemployment Reduction Economic Stimulus (CURES) Act of 2020.
The ARISE bill, which proposes a P1.3 trillion economic stimulus package, states that resources are set aside “for programs and policies that support the country’s emergence from an economy adversely affected by COVID-19.”
Meanwhile, the CURES bill seeks to allocate P1.5 trillion funding, divided into three fiscal years, for infrastructure projects in priority sectors in a move to provide employment opportunities.
Cayetano, however, said these budget proposals may still be adjusted depending on the Senate and meetings with the executive department.
As per the priorities of the House of Representatives, Cayetano said they will prioritize legislation related to “lives and livelihood.”
“I think really yung testing, yung capability nung hospital, upgrading our health centers will be a priority then yung livelihood,” Cayetano said.
(I think we have to prioritize testing and the capability of hospitals as well as upgrading the health centers and then livelihood.)
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