Velasco proposes P420-billion Bayanihan 3 law
MANILA, Philippines — Speaker Lord Allan Velasco has filed a bill proposing a third installment of the Bayanihan Law, which would provide a P420-billion fund to help the country recover amid the economic crash triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Velasco, together with Marikina City 2nd District Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo, filed last Thursday House Bill (HB) No. 8628, or the proposed “Bayanihan to Arise As One Act” or Bayanihan 3.
Some 115 members of major political parties and blocs in the House have expressed their support and signified intent to co-author the said bill, Velasco said in a statement on Sunday.
He said the two previous Bayanihan Laws were “not sufficient for the genuine economic recovery of the country.”
Citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, the Marinduque representative noted that the Philippine economy contracted by 9.5 percent in 2020, the worst performance in the nation’s post-war history.
He added this is significantly worse than the predicted contraction of 4.5 to 6.6 percent, which was the basis of the Development Budget Coordination Committee for the 2021 National Expenditure Program.
“Given that actual economic output in 2020 was far below what was assumed for budget purposes, and further losses may still be incurred as the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to prevail well into the current fiscal year, an additional economic stimulus package is needed to help the government meet its recovery targets for the year,” Velasco pointed out.
The breakdown of the proposed P420-billion appropriation under Bayanihan 3:
- P52 billion for subsidies to small business for wages and other worker-related expenses
- P100 billion for the capacity-building of businesses in critically impacted sectors
- P108 billion for additional social amelioration to impacted households through programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development
- P70 billion for the provision of assistance and capacity-building to farmers, livestock producers and fishermen
- P30 billion for the implementation of unemployment assistance and cash-for-work programs under the Department of Labor and Employment
- P30 billion for internet allowances to primary, secondary and tertiary students and teachers in public and private educational institutions
- P5 billion to the Department of Public Works and Highways for the rehabilitation of typhoon-affected areas, including the repair, reconstruction and/or construction of flood control works, roads, bridges, public buildings and other damaged public works, to be distributed proportionately among affected provinces and cities
- P25 billion to the Department of Health for the procurement of COVID-19 medication and vaccines, and to finance logistics, information awareness campaigns, and other related operational expenses
Velasco also pointed out that household consumption has significantly declined, contributing as much as 5.7 percent to the total 9.5 percent annual reduction in output in 2020.
“Government must therefore take the lead to promote business and consumer confidence and social welfare. Increased, well-targeted spending is a vital step to achieving these goals,” he said.
In November last year, Quimbo also filed her own bill for Bayanihan 3, House Bill No. 8031, which will allot another P400 billion to aid in the country’s economic recovery.
Another Bayanihan 3 bill, House Bill No. 8059, was also filed last year by Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, and AAMBIS-OWA Rep. Sharon Garin.
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