Velasco renews push for Bayanihan 3; says DOF working to find fund sources
MANILA, Philippines — Speaker Lord Allan Velasco has revived his call for the passage of Bayanihan 3, as he claimed Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III did not “shoot down” the proposal and was only asking for more time to look for funding.
During a recent virtual meeting, Velasco said he got an assurance from Dominguez that efforts are being made to identify sources to fund Bayanihan 3.
“It’s a matter of finding revenues to be able to fund those programs. Secretary Dominguez did not actually shoot down Bayanihan 3,” Velasco said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Definitely, he (Dominguez) really wants to help the Filipino people. Ang sinabi lang niya eh give him time to look for the funding,” he added.
Velasco earlier said that 224 members from the House supermajority, minority, and independent blocs have joined him either as principal authors or co-authors of House Bill No. 8628 or the Bayanihan to Arise As One Act, also known as Bayanihan 3.
The Speaker made the reiteration on the approval of the proposed measure as more areas were placed under localized lockdowns while some businesses were again forced to shut down due to an upsurge in COVID-19 cases.
“There are a lot of Filipinos who are suffering financially and are in dire need of help now,” Velasco said.
“A third economic stimulus package will provide a much-needed lifeline to individuals, families, and businesses severely affected by the pandemic,” he added.
Bayanihan 3 seeks to provide P420 billion to help the country recover amid the economic crash triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The breakdown of the proposed P420-billion appropriation under Bayanihan 3 are as follows:
- 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
The measure aims to also provide each household member P1,000 regardless of their economic status. On top of this, a P1,000 allowance shall likewise be given to each student and teacher while P8,000 shall be granted to every displaced worker.
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