Duterte signs Bayanihan 2 into law
MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte on Friday signed into law the Bayanihan to Recover As One Act, which provides a P165-billion economic stimulus and relief package to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The law is the second measure specifically aimed at responding to the health crisis and its crippling effects on the economy. It appropriates P140 billion for various emergency packages plus a P25-billion standby fund.
It will fund the improvement of health-care resources and cash-for-work programs, and provide agricultural support, assistance to affected industries and funds to purchase vaccines.
The biggest share of the budget, around P39 billion, will go to loans for sectors hardest hit by the pandemic like micro, small and medium-scale enterprises, transport, tourism, etc.
Cash subsidies ranging from P5,000 to P8,000 will also be given to low-income households in communities under “granular lockdown” and areas with recently returned overseas Filipino workers and workers displaced by the pandemic.
Around P13.5 billion will be allocated for the emergency hiring of health-care workers, including P10,000 in special risk allowance.
The law sets aside P5 billion for hiring contract tracers and P4.5 billion for building quarantine and isolation facilities, as well as dormitories for front-liners and the expansion of government hospitals. About P3 billion will be used to purchase personal protective equipment, including face masks and face shields.
The government also plans to set aside P9.5 billion to assist the transportation sector.
At least P6 billion will fund the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s programs and P4 billion will go to the Department of Education for its alternative learning programs.
The measure provides P3 billion to assist state universities and colleges in developing smart campuses.
The standby fund, on the other hand, includes a P10-billion allocation for the testing and purchase of vaccines and medicines.
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