Bayanihan 2 ratified

Cecille Suerte Felipe - The Philippine Star
Bayanihan 2 ratified
Sen. Sonny Angara, chair of the Senate finance committee, said the fund has allotments for various government programs and an additional P25-billion standby appropriation, including P10 billion for the procurement of vaccines.
STAR / Boy Santos, file

Tourism enterprises get bailout and P10 B set for vaccines

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate ratified last night the bicameral conference report for a P140-billion Bayanihan to Recover as One measure, described as a genuine effort by Congress to help sectors affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sen. Sonny Angara, chair of the Senate finance committee, said the fund has allotments for various government programs and an additional P25-billion standby appropriation, including P10 billion for the procurement of vaccines.

Angara said funds were also allocated for contact tracing.

“Under the Universal Health Care, stage 4 trials are provided, which would take longer. In Bayanihan 2, even if there is no stage 4 trials, for as long as the World Health Organization certified the vaccine, the government can make advance procurements,” he said.

He said Bayanihan 2, considered as an emergency power, was a result of a concerted effort both from the Senate and the House of the Representatives to assist Filipinos affected by the pandemic.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said the P10 billion originally allocated for the tourism sector has been distributed as follows: P6 billion for tourism micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs); P3 billion for for displaced tourism workers; and P1billion for tourism infrastructure under Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

“The House might ratify the report on Monday and will immediately send a copy to Malacanang for signature of the President. We completed the bicam report to the best of our ability,” said Drilon, noting that they had difficulty working on the bicam as there were many sectors trying to lobby for assistance.

Bayanihan 2 will take effect until Dec. 19 when the 18th Congress adjourns.

Drilon said one of his important proposals was the 5 percent increase in the franchise tax for Philippine offshore gaming operators, with bets minus winnings.

Angara said Bayanihan 2 will not need an implementing rules and regulations (IRR) so as not to delay implementation of the law.

Under Bayanihan 2, P13.5 billion will be appropriated for the hiring of emergency human resource for health; P4.5 billion for construction of quarantine and isolation facilities; and P13 billion for implementation of the cash-for-work program and the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD).

Also, there will be an allocation of P5 billion for contact tracing and P3 billion for personnel protective equipment.

Bayanihan 2 also provides P9.5 billion for the transport sector, P24 billion for the agriculture sector and P39.47 for the infusion of capital to government financial institutions. There were also P8.9 billion additional allocation for the education sector, including subsidies and allowances for students; and P13 billion assistance for displaced workers.

The bicam also provided social amelioration program (SAP) or emergency subsidy of P5,000 to P8,000 to affected low-income households in areas under (enhanced community quarantine/hard lockdown) and to households with recently returned OFWs.

Sen. Imee Marcos, also a member of the Senate contingent to the bicam, said considering that PhilHealth has over P200 billion reserve and the Department of Health (DOH) received earlier budgets for testing, Bayanihan 2 set P10 billion as “standby fund” for the COVID-19 testing, medication and vaccine.

Soft loans

Angara also said the Bayanihan 2 also provided 60 days grace period for all loans, whether consumer, business, payment of insurance premiums etc. across the board, irrespective of whether quarantine is imposed or not. There will also be 30 days grace period for the residential and commercial leases.

He said there will also be provisions on online classes while teachers and students in need can also avail themselves of loans to continue learning. He said Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) will also have funds. He said there will also be funds allocated for transportation and agriculture.

He noted that Bayanihan 2 also provided P15,000 cash assistance for healthcare workers who would contract mild to moderate COVID-19, P100,000 to nurses and doctors who would contract a severe case of COVID-19, and P1 million to the families of healthcare workers who die of the disease; as well as P5,000 to P8,000 cash subsidy to low-income earners; provision of cash assistance to teachers from private schools and tertiary education institutions and part-time faculty in state universities and colleges and cash-for-work for displaced workers.

“We put special risk allowances for health workers in line with the promise of the President, to give more attention to our health workers,” he noted.

Angara said Bayanihan 2 still provides authority to the President to align the budget to address the pandemic. — Delon Porcalla, Edu Punay

vuukle comment


  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with