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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

09 February 2021 11:53:29 AM

House lawmakers gave their strong bipartisan support for Speaker Lord Allan Velasco’s Bayanihan 3 bill that proposes a P420-billion fund to stimulate the country’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the latest count, 162 members of the supermajority, minority and independent blocs in the House of Representatives have manifested their support for House Bill 8628 or the proposed Bayanihan to Arise As One Act, which Velasco filed with Marikina City 2nd District Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo last week.

Deputy Speaker and Ilocos Sur 2nd District Rep. Kristine Singson-Meehan said HB 8628 deserves bipartisan support in the House for being “well-thought-out” and “truly responsive to the needs of the people” amid the COVID-19 crisis.

“The sectors that will benefit from the interventions provided for in the bill are well-targeted, which provides an assurance that the proposed funds won’t go to waste and it will surely help the economy recover from COVID-19,” Singson-Meehan said.

Deputy Speaker and Bagong Henerasyon Party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera said the latest version of the Bayanihan 3 “provides for comprehensive and integrated strategy to help the economy recover faster from the devastating impacts of the pandemic.”

“The measure proposes a P420-billion fund for the implementation of much-needed COVID-19 response and recovery interventions grounded on economic inclusivity and collective growth,” Herrera pointed out.

HB 8628 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 teachers and students; P30 billion for assistance to displaced workers; P25 billion for COVID-19 treatment and vaccines; and P5 billion for the rehabilitation of areas affected by recent floods and typhoons.

According to Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda, lawmakers should not hesitate in approving these additional funds since these were not considered in the National Expenditure Program that Malacañang submitted last year to assist Congress in the review, deliberation and passage of the 2021 national budget.

Reports that the Philippine economy contracted 9.5 percent in 2020, the worst performance in the country’ post-war history, underscores the importance and urgency of passing swiftly Bayanihan 3, Salceda stressed.

“In the pursuit of an economic rebound, restoring public trust and confidence on social and economic institutions is essential,” Salceda said. “Thus, it is important that the government take the lead in promoting business confidence and social welfare through increased, well-targeted spending.”#