House passes Bayanihan 2 on 3rd and final reading

Marje Pelayo   •   August 11, 2020   •   505

MANILA, Philippines – The country’s lawmakers in the present Congress will soon convene to harmonize their versions of the Bayanihan 2 Law.

This, after the House of Representatives, on Monday (August 10), approved the Bayanihan 2 bill on its third and final reading.

Among the representatives present, 242 voted affirmative on House Bill 6953 or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act. Six, on the other hand, voted on the negative.

The bill appropriated P27.5 billion for PhilHealth coverage for COVID-19; additional health workers and their benefits; acquisition of personal protective equipment; and establishing isolation and quarantine facilities.

Other appropriations include:

  • P71 billion for cash-for-work programs and additional capital for government financial institutions to fund loan programs;
  • P40.1 billion for agriculture, transportation and tourism programs;
  • P8.9 billion for education including programs for digital education;
  • P13.5 billion for the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the local government units;
  • P1 billion for programs of the Department of Foreign Affairs and assistance for athletes.

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said they will set a bicameral conference with the Senate for the ratification of the final version of the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act. –MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

DOLE urged to speed up distribution of Bayanihan 2 cash aid for displaced teachers

Robie de Guzman   •   February 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Tuesday called on the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to fast-track the distribution of financial aid allotted for teachers and non-teaching personnel under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2 Law).

Gatchalian made the call as he lamented the slow pace of distribution of aid for teachers who were displaced by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The senator pointed out that the education sector should have been prioritized because it is one of the most battered by the public health crisis.

“Bakit inabot ng ganitong katagal ang ayuda para sa mga guro?” said Gatchalian who chairs Senate committee on basic education, arts and culture.

“Ang ayudang nakalaan sa ilalim ng Bayanihan 2 ay matagal nang hinihintay ng mga guro at mga non-teaching personnel na nawalan ng trabaho. Ngayong tuloy tuloy pa rin ang tanggalan sa maraming opisina at mayroon nang bagong variant ang COVID-19, marapat lamang na maipaabot na sa kanila ang ayudang matagal nang ipinangakong magpapaluwag sa kanilang mga pasanin,” he added.

The Bayanihan 2, which was signed on September 2020, allotted P300 million for the provision of a one-time cash assistance to displaced teaching and non-teaching personnel in private and public elementary, secondary, and tertiary education institutions.

Part-time faculty in State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) who have lost their jobs or who have not received their wages are also entitled to receive these subsidies.

In the basic sector education, Gatchalian said that some 4,488 teachers are affected by the suspension of operations in 865 private schools, as reported by the Department of Education (DepEd) last September.

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) also reported last May that some 50,000 part-time lecturers of private colleges and universities working on a “no work, no pay basis” need financial aid.

While Gatchalian admitted that the funds are not enough to ease the burden of displaced teachers and non-teaching staff, he urged DOLE to iron out the final guidelines with CHED and DepEd to avoid the same woes as the distribution of aid under the Social Amelioration Program.

Duterte thanks Congress for pushing Bayanihan 3 law

Robie de Guzman   •   February 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed his gratitude to the members of Congress for filing a bill seeking for the third installment of Bayanihan Law to help the government respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact.

In his public address on Monday night, Duterte said the measure will assist the administration further tackle the pandemic and help the country recover from the health crisis.

“I also would like to thank the Congress of the Republic of the Philippines for understanding us and giving us the support — the critical support that we badly need to discharge our duties,” he said.

“Wala akong masabi diyan sa — in a matter of ‘yung pagtulong sa COVID problem. That is why in fairness sa Congress naman na pera man kasi ito ng tao, they appropriate, they give us the money that, we, dito sa implementing arm ng government, the Executive department, the ones doing the actual work,” he added.

House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco has proposed a third installment of Bayanihan Law, which seeks to provide a P420-billion fund to aid the country’s economy recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Velasco, along with Marikina Representative Stella Quimbo, filed House Bill 8628 or the Bayanihan to Arise as One Act (Bayanihan 3 Law).

A similar bill was also filed in the Senate that outlines P485-billion worth of interventions amid the pandemic.

Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. also thanked Congress for the bill, which he said is important as it covers Indemnification Fund, tax-free importation and Custom duties to speed up vaccine delivery and transport.

“Iyong mga kailangan po natin na mga law na maipasa para matulungan po tayo na mapabilis po ‘yung pagpunta po dito ng vaccine,” Galvez said.

“Para po mabilis po ‘yung pag-transport po ng ating vaccine from the airport na wala na po talagang Customs inspection,” he added.

Speaker Velasco files P420-B Bayanihan 3 bill

Freema Gloria   •   February 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Allan Velasco has filed a bill proposing a P420-billion fund to further help stimulate the country’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a press release, Velasco, together with Marikina City 2nd District Representative Stella Quimbo filed last Thursday (February 4) House bill 8628 or the Bayanihan to Arise as One Act, also known Bayanihan 3.

The proposed bill has so far gained support from 115 members of major political parties and power blocs comprising the supermajority in the lower chamber of Congress, and expressed their intent to co-author the said bill.

The House Speaker believes that while the two previous Bayanihan laws — the Bayanihan to Heal As One, and Bayanihan to Recover As one — have helped with the initial capacity of the government to respond to the impact of COVID-19 crisis, these were “not sufficient for the genuine economic recovery of the country”.

“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,” Velasco pointed out.

The proposed P420-B appropriation under Bayanihan 3 has been breakdown into the following:

• P52 billion for subsidies to small business for wages and other worker-related expenses;

• P100 billion for the capacity-building of businesses in critically impacted sectors;

• P108 billion for additional social amelioration to impacted households through programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development;

• P70 billion for the provision of assistance and capacity-building to farmers, livestock producers and fishermen;

• P30 billion for the implementation of unemployment assistance and cash-for-work programs under the Department of Labor and Employment;

• P30 billion for internet allowances to primary, secondary and tertiary students and teachers in public and private educational institutions;

• P5 billion to the Department of Public Works and Highways for the rehabilitation of typhoon-affected areas, including the repair, reconstruction and/or construction of flood control works, roads, bridges, public buildings and other damaged public works, to be distributed proportionately among provinces and cities affected;

• P25 billion to the Department of Health for the procurement of COVID-19 medication and vaccines, and to finance logistics, information awareness campaigns, and other related operational expenses.

Velasco stressed that the government must take the lead to promote business and consumer confidence and social welfare. He further stated, “Increased, well-targeted spending is a vital step to achieving these goals”


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