MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte’s economic team on Monday, March 16, announced a P27.1-billion package to help frontliners fight the novel coronavirus pandemic and provide economic relief to affected sectors.
The Department of Finance sent an email to reporters shortly after the airing of Duterte’s speech, which detailed relief and recovery efforts for infected people and various sectors affected by the pandemic. (READ: LIST: Areas in PH under quarantine, curfews, state of calamity)
Here is the breakdown:
P3.1 billion – To be used for efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. This includes acquisition of test kits.
The funds will come from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, and Asian Development Bank.
P2 billion – Initial budget set aside by the Department of Labor and Employment for social protection programs for vulnerable workers, to be used for wage subsidy or financial support for affected establishments and workers.
P1.2 billion – Social Security System funds to cover unemployment benefits for dislocated workers.
P3 billion – Earmarked for scholarship programs by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to support affected and temporarily displaced workers through upskilling and reskilling.
P14 billion – Allocated for various programs and projects of the Department of Tourism to support the tourism industry. The funds will come from the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority.
P2.8 billion – To be used for the Survival and Recovery Aid Program of the Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC), which provides loans of up to P25,000 each at zero interest for farmers and fisherfolk affected by calamity and disasters.
“This initiative includes a one-year moratorium without interest on payments of outstanding loan obligations of small farmers and fisherfolk borrowers under the ACPC Credit Program amounting to P2.03 billion.”
P1 billion – Allotted for the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-Asenso or P3 microfinancing special loan package of the Small Business Corporation by the Department of Trade and Industry.
Additional support mechanisms identified by the Economic Development Cluster include the following:
- A loan program of the Government Service Insurance System intended for affected government employees and retirees.
- Mobilization of funds from government-owned or -controlled corporations to assist airlines and the rest of the tourism industry.
- Programs of the largest government banks to help address the impact of the health emergency, which provides public and private institutions in areas declared under a state of calamity with low-interest loans and restructuring of loan amortizations by giving longer tenor and grace periods.
- The grant of temporary and rediscounting relief measures for financial institutions, as approved by the Monetary Board.