Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto filed a 3rd Bayanihan bill to prop up the Philippine economy reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic and a series of devastating tropical cyclones in Luzon.
Recto filed the Bayanihan to Rebuild as One bill on Monday afternoon, December 14. The bill was published on the Senate website on Wednesday, December 16.
It is a follow-up to the Bayanihan to Heal as One (Bayanihan 1) and Bayanihan to Recover as One (Bayanihan 2) laws that were passed earlier this year to address the pandemic.
“If we were quick to act on Bayanihan 1 and 2, certainly, we can fast-track this Bayanihan 3 as a continuing response to soften the impact of an economic downturn, accelerate the economic recovery of the country, and respond to the urgent needs of areas battered by the recent typhoons,” Recto wrote in his bill’s explanatory note.
Typhoon Quinta (Molave), Super Typhoon Rolly (Goni), and Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco) battered many parts of Luzon in succession from October to November, affecting more than a million families and causing billions of pesos worth of damage to infrastructure and agriculture, Recto noted.
Bayanihan 3 proposes the provision of P485 billion for the following items:
- P55 billion for the procurement of COVID-19 medication and vaccines
- P55 billion for the handling of vaccines, hiring of contact tracers, testing and treatment under the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and payment of actual hazard duty pay of frontliners
- P100 billion for worker subsidies
- P100 billion for the “capacity building of critically impacted sectors”
- P70 billion for additional cash subsidies to affected households
- P20 billion for assistance to households severely affected by recent typhoons
- P30 billion for assistance to displaced workers
- P50 billion for the rehabilitation of typhoon-hit areas
- P3 billion for internet allowances of Department of Education K-to-12 teachers and students
- P2 billion for the Commission on Higher Education, for internet allowances of tertiary level teachers and students
The proposed 2021 national budget and the Bayanihan 2 law will provide a combined P82.5 billion for COVID-19 vaccines next year. This proposed Bayanihan 3 measure would increase that amount to P137.5 billion.
The proposed measure is the Senate’s counterpart of House Bill No. 8031, filed by Marikina City 2nd District Representative Stella Quimbo in mid-November. Recto said his bill “essentially adopts” the House bill, but it will be open to amendments by senators. – Rappler.com