P405.6-billion Bayanihan 3 moves forward in House
MANILA, Philippines — The joint House committees on economic affairs and social services approved on Friday a P405.6-billion Bayanihan 3, which includes two rounds of cash aid amounting to P1,000 per Filipino, according to House Deputy Minority Leader Stella Quimbo.
Quimbo told the Inquirer on Sunday that the cash aid would be given to 108 million Filipinos regardless of social status, making the total financial aid given to all Filipinos at P216 billion.
Quimbo, one of the authors of the proposed Bayanihan to Arise As One Act or Bayanihan 3, said the bill approved by the two committees consolidated seven similar economic stimulus bills proposed by lawmakers.
“It will have to go through the ways and means committee [today] and then to the appropriations [committee], then will return to the mother committee for the committee report to be approved,” she said in a Viber message.
The bill, she said, could be up for plenary debates when the House resumes session on May 17.
A copy of the substitute bill showed that another P30 billion would be given to the Department of Social Welfare and Development as emergency assistance to affected households under its “assistance to individuals in crisis situation” program.
A total of P20 billion would be allotted as wage subsidies under the Department of Finance, Social Security System and the Bureau of Internal Revenue while P25 billion would be used as assistance to displaced workers under the programs of the Department of Labor and Employment.
Another P30 billion would be given to the agri-fishery sector while P10 billion was allocated for the government’s nutrition programs.
The Department of Health (DOH) would also receive P9 billion under its “Medical Assistance to Indigents Program” while P5 billion would be for the relief programs of various local governments.
The bill also included P54.6 billion for the Pension and Gratuity Fund of retired military and the police and a P5.6-billion support to the Department of Education for the purchase of laptops for teachers, mobile and internet allowance, distance learning modules, and N95 masks among others.
A total of P400 million was allocated to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration for the RT-PCR tests of seafarers and overseas Filipino workers.
Asked about additional funding for vaccines against COVID-19, Quimbo said there was “no additional [budget] for COVID vaccines” as the DOH and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases said during the joint committee hearing that there was “no need” for it.
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