Senate of the Philippines

Recto files P485-billion bill for recovery from pandemic, typhoons

JC Gotinga
Recto files P485-billion bill for recovery from pandemic, typhoons

MEDICAL SUPPLIES. Pharmaceutical vials made by German glass company Schott are pictured at the company's headquarters in Mainz, Germany, on November 20, 2020.

File photo by Daniel Roland/AFP

The proposed Bayanihan 3 measure adds P55 billion to the Philippines' funds for COVID-19 vaccines

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

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JC Gotinga

JC Gotinga often reports about the West Philippine Sea, the communist insurgency, and terrorism as he covers national defense and security for Rappler. He enjoys telling stories about his hometown, Pasig City. JC has worked with Al Jazeera, CNN Philippines, News5, and CBN Asia.