House to expedite approval of proposed Bayanihan 3 law — Velasco
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives will hasten the approval of the proposed third Bayanihan measure, which seeks to aid Filipinos and revive the country’s economy affected by the coronavirus pandemic, Speaker Lord Allan Velasco said Tuesday.
Velasco said the House will immediately tackle in the plenary the proposed Bayanihan to Arise As One Act, or Bayanihan 3, once the lower chamber resumes session on May 17.
The House Speaker is one of the principal authors of the measure.
“As soon as we get back on May 17, we will fast-track the approval of Bayanihan 3,” Velasco said in an interview with radio station DZME.
So far, three committees in the House—the committee on economic affairs, the committee on social services, and the committee on ways and means—have approved the Bayanihan 3 measure.
The measure still needs to be approved by the House committee on appropriations before it can be tackled in the plenary.
The P405.6-billion Bayanihan 3 includes cash aid that would be given to 108 million Filipinos, regardless of social status. This will be given in two tranches, each tranche amounting to P1,000, making the total financial aid given to all Filipinos at P216 billion.
“It has to be equitable. Hindi ‘yung isang household bibigyan ng certain amount e baka tatatlo lang sila sa bahay tapos ang isang household naman ay 15 ang myembro. Dapat po pantay-pantay,” Velasco said.
(It has to be equitable. If we give a certain amount to each household, there may be a case where each household has three members and another household has 15 members. It should be equitable.)
Velasco said the House is constantly communicating with the Department of Finance (DOF) as to the funding sources for Bayanihan 3.
To raise funds for Bayanihan 3, Congress seeks to authorize the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to make additional advances with or without interest to the national government to finance expenditures authorized by law to address and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The measure also wants to increase from 50 percent to 75 percent the mandatory dividend remittances by government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) and to grant the President the power to withdraw capital from overcapitalized GOCCs.
Further, Bayanihan 3 bill seeks to allocate funds for capacity-building for impacted sectors, wage subsidies, capacity-building for agricultural producers, internet allowances for students and teachers, COVID-19 treatment and vaccines, and rehabilitation of areas ravaged by recent floods and typhoons.
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