Speaker hopes Cha-cha, Bayanihan 3 gets approved before June 4
MANILA, Philippines — Speaker Lord Allan Velasco hopes the House of Representatives will be able to approve the proposed charter change and the third Bayanihan measure before its sine die adjournment (without assigning a date for further meeting or hearing) on June 4.
Velasco made the remark Thursday, a few days before the House resumes its session on May 17, by which time, the lower chamber would have roughly three weeks to approve measures to amend the constitution and the Bayanihan 3 in the plenary before the scheduled adjournment early next month.
The resolution pushing for the charter amendments is currently in the period of interpellation in the House plenary. It still needs to be approved on second and third reading before it can be transmitted to the Senate.
On the other hand, Bayanihan 3 seeks to provide wage subsidies, assistance to displaced workers, housing relief, assistance to the agri-fishery sector, medical assistance, and support to basic education, among others.
Bayanihan 3 still needs to be approved by the House committee on appropriations before it can be brought to the plenary.
The House Speaker, who filed Resolution of Both Houses No. 2 which proposes amendments to the economic provisions of 1987 Constitution, said there is “no rush” in approving it.
However, he expressed hopes that the proposed charter amendments will be approved by the House before June 4.
“Hopefully we get the support of the Senate, we’re hoping na these three weeks, matapos na namin, mapasa na namin sa House and after that, mapasa na natin sa Senate,” Velasco said in an interview.
(Hopefully the Senate can support it and we’re hoping that during these three weeks, we can approve it in the House and after that we can pass it to the Senate.)
“To be honest, wala naman masyadong rush ‘yan. As far as I remember, kailangan from the time na maipasa ng both houses ‘yan, actually around 30 to 60 days, kailangan i-plebiscite na,” he added.
(But to be honest, there is no rush there. As far as I remember, from the time both houses pass it, the plebiscite should happen in around 30 to 60 days.)
Velasco said that their timetable remains the same—to have the plebiscite together with the 2022 national elections.
Velasco also hopes that the proposed Bayanihan to Arise As One Act or Bayanihan 3 can also be approved by the House before June 4.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to finish it within those three weeks bago tayo mag sine die (before the sine die adjournment) and also actually it really depends on the finance department on whether they will be able to find the said needed funds,” Velasco said in an interview.
According to Velasco, House leaders are having regular meetings with the Department of Finance (DOF) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to ensure the funding for Bayanihan 3.
Velasco said Wednesday’s meeting with Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado, among others, seemed to have “very positive” outcome.
“Sabi sa amin na they will be looking for the said funds para naman maumpisahan na natin itong Bayanihan 3. Hopefully fingers-crossed pumasa at mapondohan ito at kinakailangan talaga ng ating bansa para naman maangat-angat ang standing natin sa economy and also ‘yung mga kababayan nating nangangailangan matulungan natin sila,” he said.
(They said they will be looking for the said funds so that we can start with Bayanihan 3. Fingers-crossed that this will be passed and funded because we really need to improve our economic standing and also, we need to help our countrymen.)
Velasco added that Dominguez has said that the finance team will “do their very best” to be able to secure funds for Bayanihan 3.
The P405.6-billion Bayanihan 3 also includes cash aid which 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.
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