Philippines: House panel proposes PHP613bn economic recovery stimulus

  • A House panel has proposed a PHP613bn stimulus measure to help the government address the economic impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.
  • Members of the sub-committee on economic stimulus package came up with the Philippine Economic Recovery Bill, which consolidated the proposals submitted by Marikina Rep. Stella Quimbo and Albay Rep. Joey Salceda after two online hearings of the panel members on 14 Apr 20 and 21 Apr 20
  • The proposed measure, titled Philippine Economic Recovery Act (PERA), will be submitted to the Defeat COVID-19 Committee for approval and referral to the plenary.
  • Under the PERA bill, PHP110bn will be allocated to a wage subsidy program for workers of private companies affected by the crisis, particularly by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
  • Through the Department of Labor and Employment, the program would cover payroll costs of non-essential companies severely affected by the quarantine period through wage subsidies ranging from 25% to 75%.
  • The measure also seeks a PHP1bn fund to subsidize salaries of patients who are temporarily displaced from their work while battling the disease, through allocations of PHP500bn each to the Social Security System and Government Service Insurance System.
  • The panel proposed that a patient will get PHP110,000 each in excess of paid sick leaves during confinement or isolation.
  • The bulk of the proposed economic stimulus package will go to zero interest loans for companies, including micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

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