162 lawmakers back Velasco’s Bayanihan 3 bill | Inquirer News
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162 lawmakers back Velasco’s Bayanihan 3 bill

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 01:24 PM February 09, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — At least 162 lawmakers in the House of Representatives have so far expressed their support to Speaker Lord Allan Velasco’s bill proposing a third installment of the Bayanihan Law.

The lawmakers come from the supermajority, minority and independent blocs in the House, Velasco’s camp said in a statement on Tuesday.

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Velasco, along with Marikina City Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo, filed on Thursday last week House Bill (HB) No. 8628, or the proposed “Bayanihan to Arise As One Act” or Bayanihan 3, which seeks a P420-billion fund to help the country recover amid the economic crash triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“At the latest count, 162 members of the supermajority, minority and independent blocs in the House of Representatives have manifested their support for House Bill 8628 or the proposed Bayanihan to Arise As One Act,” Velasco’s camp said.

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Deputy Speaker and Ilocos Sur Rep. Kristine Singson-Meehan praised the proposed measure for being “well-thought-out” and “truly responsive to the needs of the people” amid the Covid-19 crisis.

“The sectors that will benefit from the interventions provided for in the bill are well-targeted, which provides an assurance that the proposed funds won’t go to waste and it will surely help the economy recover from COVID-19,” Singson-Meehan said in the statement.

For her part, Deputy Speaker and Bagong Henerasyon Party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera said the latest version of the Bayanihan 3 provides for a comprehensive and integrated strategy to help the economy recover faster from the devastating impacts of the pandemic.

“The measure proposes a P420-billion fund for the implementation of much-needed COVID-19 response and recovery interventions grounded on economic inclusivity and collective growth,” Herrera pointed out.

The bill seeks to allocate P108 billion for additional social amelioration to impacted households; P100 billion for capacity-building for impacted sectors; P52 billion for wage subsidies; P70 billion for capacity-building for agricultural producers; P30 billion for internet allowances to teachers and students; P30 billion for assistance to displaced workers; P25 billion for COVID-19 treatment and vaccines; and P5 billion for the rehabilitation of areas affected by recent floods and typhoons.

For Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, lawmakers should not hesitate in approving the additional funds for these were not considered in the National Expenditure Program that Malacañang submitted last year to assist Congress in the review, deliberation and passage of the 2021 national budget.

Considering that the Philippine economy contracted 9.5% in 2020, this should prompt lawmakers to pass swiftly the proposed Bayanihan 3 law.

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“In the pursuit of an economic rebound, restoring public trust and confidence in social and economic institutions is essential,” Salceda said.

“Thus, it is important that the government take the lead in promoting business confidence and social welfare through increased, well-targeted spending,” he added.

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TAGS: 162 lawmakers, Bayanihan 3, bill, support, Velasco
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