7 solons seek House probe on use of Bayanihan 1, 2 funds | Inquirer News
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7 solons seek House probe on use of Bayanihan 1, 2 funds

/ 03:51 PM April 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Seven lawmakers on Wednesday sought a House of Representatives’ probe on the implementation and utilization of funds under the first two Bayanihan measures that aimed to cushion the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Under House Resolution No. 1731, the lawmakers said the government “must implement the budget in the most prudent, efficient, and timely manner possible, especially in times of public emergencies.”

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The resolution was filed by Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, Taguig 2nd District Rep. Ma. Laarni Cayetano, Camarines Sur 2nd District Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte, Batangas 2nd District Rep. Raneo Abu, Laguna 1st District Rep. Dan Fernandez, Anakalusugan Partylist Rep. Mike Defensor, and Bulacan 1st District Rep. Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado.

“The utilization of all the appropriations set by Congress is vital not only to fully realize the policy set by the Legislature but more so to meet the needs of the Filipino people, especially during extraordinary challenging times such as this,” the lawmakers said.

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“Hampered and obstructed implementation of much needed government programs during this time of need results to delayed resumption of economy and delayed aid to thousands, if not millions, of retrenched or displaced workers, closed micro, small, and medium enterprises, and disadvantaged countrymen suffering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.

Furthermore, the lawmakers said that the inquiry will “shed light into which programs were effective, forming the basis for which ones should be extended, or included in future appropriations measures, or replaced with alternatives which Congress would deem to be effective.”

“It is necessary to determine the utilization rate of implementing agencies not only to see how they performed, but also to help streamline the process of budget legislation, identify and solve problems in the budget execution stage, and strengthen the government’s ability to deliver services,” the lawmakers said.

“Each peso must be spent efficiently and directly translate to services to Filipinos,” they added.

Under Bayanihan 1, or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, the government realigned P275 billion from the 2020 national budget for the administration’s pandemic response, while P165.5 billion was allotted under the Bayanihan 2, or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act.

Meanwhile, the proposed Bayanihan 3 remains pending in Congress.

Back in January this year, House appropriations committee chair, Rep. Eric Yap said the lower chamber will look into the use of Bayanihan funds. However, no schedule has been set up to this date.

JE

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TAGS: Alan Peter Cayetano, Bayanihan
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