Angara, Yap eye extension of 2020 budget, Bayanihan 2
MANILA, Philippines — Senate finance committee chair Sonny Angara and House appropriations chair Eric Yap are eyeing the extension of the effectivity of the 2020 national budget and the Bayanihan To Recover As One Act to help cushion the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the recent typhoons that ravaged the country.
Angara and Yap expressed this after the bicameral conference committee adopted and approved the final version of the proposed national budget for 2021, which is seen to drive the country’s pandemic and calamity response and recovery efforts.
“What we are going to work on once we approve the budget is the extension of Bayanihan 2 and the 2020 [General Appropriations Act] because under the 2020 GAA, a lot of the projects were delayed because of the lockdown, the quarantine,” Angara told reporters.
“There’s additional time needed… The last day of the year, December 31, mare-revert ‘yun sa Treasury kung hindi namin i-extend ‘yung effectivity of the 2020 budget,” the senator added.
(There’s additional time needed… The budget expires on the last day of the year, December 31, so if we do not extend the effectivity of the 2020 budget, it will be reverted to the Treasury.)
Angara said there are also P8 billion funds available under Bayanihan 2 for COVID-19 vaccine which will expire on December 19, thus underscoring the need for its extension.
“Kapag hindi in-extend ‘yung Bayanihan 2, sayang din ‘yun. Magre-revert din ‘yung pera,” Angara said.
(If we do not extend Bayanihan 2, that’s unfortunate. The funds will be reverted.)
The senator said the Senate is looking at extending Bayanihan 2 until March or June next year while the 2020 budget can be extended until June or December 2021.
Meanwhile, Yap said House leaders are eyeing to extend Bayanihan 2’s validity until March next year.
“Sa amin, iniisip namin until March but syempre depende pa ‘yan. Depende sa needs. Kung sa tingin natin, hindi pa nau-utilize lahat, pwede pa naman i-extend longer ‘yun,” Yap said.
(We are looking at March next year but it still depends on the needs. If we think that everything has not been utilized, we can extend it further.)
Now that the bicam has approved the national budget, the Senate and the House are now expected to ratify it this Wednesday afternoon so it can be submitted to the office of President Rodrigo Duterte for signature.
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