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Speaker pushes P420 billion Bayanihan 3 for COVID-19 recovery
Speaker Lord Allan Velasco – who along with Deputy Minority Leader Stella Quimbo filed House Bill 8628 (Bayanihan to Arise As One Act), also known as Bayanihan 3 – said this measure is needed to lift the country from recession.
STAR/Boy Santos, file

Speaker pushes P420 billion Bayanihan 3 for COVID-19 recovery

Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - February 8, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The super majority coalition and the minority bloc in the House of Representatives have joined forces for the passage of a bill providing a P420-billion fund that will help stimulate the country’s economic recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaker Lord Allan Velasco – who along with Deputy Minority Leader Stella Quimbo filed House Bill 8628 (Bayanihan to Arise As One Act), also known as Bayanihan 3 – said this measure is needed to lift the country from recession.

“Given that actual economic output in 2020 was far below what was assumed for budget purposes, and further losses may still be incurred as the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to prevail well into the current fiscal year, an additional economic stimulus package is needed to help the government meet its recovery targets for the year,” he said.

According to Velasco, 115 House members from major political parties and power blocs have already expressed their willingness to support the bill, and have also signified their intent to co-author HB 8628.

Velasco acknowledged that the two previous laws – Bayanihan 1 and 2 – are “not sufficient for the genuine economic recovery of the country” even if they somehow increased the government’s initial capacity to respond to the demands of the health crisis.

Citing recent data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, the Marinduque congressman noted that the Philippine economy contracted by 9.5 percent overall in 2020, the worst performance in the nation’s post-war history.

This contraction is significantly deeper than the predicted contraction of 4.5 to 6.6 percent, which became the basis of the Development Budget Coordination Committee for the 2021 National Expenditure Program.

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