House to give Bayanihan 2 final OK this week
Deputy Speaker LRay Villafuerte over the weekend said the chamber expects the approval on third and final reading this week of House Bill 6953, which will give President Duterte “special powers anew to best deal” with the coronavirus.
Philstar.com/AJ Bolando, file
House to give Bayanihan 2 final OK this week
Cecille Suerte Felipe, Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - August 10, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives, under the leadership of Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, has given assurance of the final approval this week of the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2) that will help government address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deputy Speaker LRay Villafuerte over the weekend said the chamber expects the approval on third and final reading this week of House Bill 6953, which will give President Duterte “special powers anew to best deal” with the coronavirus.

“The House leadership expects HB 6953, or the Bayanihan 2 Act, to breeze through final approval this week,” the Camarines Sur congressman said, noting that leaders of various political parties in the administration coalition have forged a manifesto of unity.

HB 6953 provides for P162 billion in funding for the government’s COVID-19 response measures, including some P10.5 billion to enable the hiring of additional healthcare workers, and provide additional allowances and benefits to medical frontliners, he said.

Another House deputy speaker, Mikee Romero of party-list 1Pacman, also disclosed that both public and private school teachers affected by the pandemic will receive financial aid under the proposed Bayanihan 2.

“The proposal allocates P300 million for subsidies and allowances of affected teaching and non-teaching personnel, including part-time faculty, in private and public elementary, secondary and tertiary education institutions, including part-time faculty in SUCs (state universities and colleges),” he said.

The Speaker has emphasized the importance of unity in defeating the contagion, saying the country “cannot hope to succeed without unity of purpose among our people.”

“We need the true spirit of bayanihan to sustain us,” the Taguig-Pateros congressman said as leaders and members of the House crossed party lines in having House Bill 6953 approved on second reading last Aug. 5.

Meanwhile, after passing Bayanihan 2, the Senate is planning to pass the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act to lower tax rates and provide incentives to corporations battered by the COVID-19 pandemic, to allow companies to retain workers, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said.

In a radio interview, Zubiri said all business sectors have been affected by the pandemic. He said a giant fast-food chain is reportedly closing 250 stores all over the country.

BAYANIHAN ACT HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
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