Bayan Muna urges Duterte to speed up approval of P10,000 ‘Ayuda Bill’
MANILA, Philippines—Bayan Muna called on President Rodrigo Duterte to put together a special session that would fast-track the approval of the P10,000 “Ayuda Bill” and another legislative measure that would provide a P100 wage subsidy for workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
House Deputy Minority leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said that it’s high time for the government to make use of the funds that it borrowed, a total of P10.4 trillion, for COVID-19 response while also hitting at the creation of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
“Our workers are hungry and in dire need and the government should provide aid for them. After all, according to government data itself Pres. Duterte has borrowed trillions of pesos for COVID response and it’s about time that these funds be given to those who need it most instead of useless projects like NTF ELCAC,” said Zarate, who co-authored the bill for the P100 per day subsidy, Saturday.
Zarate, one of the authors of House Bill 09262, and Bayan Muna Chairman Neri Colmenares led a demonstration at Welcome Rotonda commemorating Labor Day.
He added that the P100 per subsidy would complement the “Ayuda Bill” or HB 9089 in not only helping workers with their spending capabilities but also support small businesses that would cater to the families on a daily basis.
“The P100/day wage subsidy would work hand in hand with the P10k ayuda for families that has now passed the committee level of the House. There is now a need to fast track this for the millions of families to have additional aid to weather this crisis. It is imperative, thus, that Pres.Duterte should immediately call for a special session of Congress and certify the P100 wage subsidy and P10K ayuda bills as urgent,” said Zarate.
Colmenares, meanwhile, urged Duterte to follow Vietnam’s COVID-19 response.
Vietnam issued a $77 subsidy, or around P3,700 by current rates, to workers whose labor contracts were temporarily suspended due to COVID-19 while also issuing $43 aid, around P2,000, for employees who lost their jobs but are not eligible for unemployment allowance.
“Vietnam even suspended payment of workers premium for their social security and other pension and reduced by the 10% the retail price of their electricity, as well as the wholesale price of electricity in rural areas to help small business and ordinary people weather the pandemic. Vietnam mainly funds their COVID response and is not dependent on loans, while Pres. Duterte is estimated to have borrowed at least P3 trillion for his COVID response,” said Colmenares.
“Duterte’s incompetence is shown by the fact that despite his staggering loans, as of April 28, 2021, the Philippines has 1.02 Million confirmed cases while Vietnam only has 2,865 cases. If Vietnam can do it, we can do it. All we need is a competent president who knows how to handle a health emergency and the needs of the people.”
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