MANILA, Philippines – House Speaker Allan Velasco expressed confidence that the Lower House will be able to approve the Bayanihan 3 before it resumes session on May 17.
The House leader said the country’s economic managers are now studying potential funding sources for the measure which is seen as a “lifeline” for Filipinos whose livelihood have been affected by the pandemic.
Velasco confirmed that Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado assured him that both the Department of Finance and the Department of Budget and Management are now in the process of identifying sources of funds in order to move forward Bayanihan 3
“We are extremely hopeful for the passage of Bayanihan 3, which is a much-bigger, well-targeted and proportionate stimulus package that would help struggling Filipinos and revive our pandemic-ravaged economy,” Velasco said.
“A third round of fiscal support is in order to relieve the economic struggle experienced by many Filipinos, particularly those with low incomes, and help businesses stay afloat during the pandemic,” he added.
Velasco and Marikina City 2nd District Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo, a noted economist, earlier filed their own version of Bayanihan 3 under House Bill 8628 or the “Bayanihan to Arise As One Act,” which proposes a P420-billion fund to stimulate the nation’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.
The measure seeks to allocate P108 billion for additional social amelioration to impacted households, P100 billion for capacity-building for impacted sectors, P52 billion for wage subsidies, P70 billion for capacity-building for agricultural producers, P30 billion for internet allowances to students and teachers, P30 billion for assistance to displaced workers, P25 billion for COVID-19 treatment and vaccines, and P5 billion for the rehabilitation of areas impacted by recent floods and typhoons.
Under the measure, each household member will receive P1,000 regardless of their economic status. On top of this, a P1,000 allowance will be provided to each student and teacher, and P8,000 for every displaced worker.
HB 8628 is pending with the House Committee on Economic Affairs, which created a technical working group to consolidate all Bayanihan 3-related measures.
To date, 224 members from the supermajority, minority and independent blocs in the House have signed either as principal authors or co-authors of Velasco’s Bayanihan 3 bill.