Philippines: House panels OK Bayanihan 3 stimulus package

  • Three committees of the House of Representatives have approved the proposed PHP405.6bn Bayanihan 3 stimulus package that will provide cash aid to all 110 million Filipinos during this pandemic, the first tranche of which will be PHP1,000 for each citizen.
  • House Deputy Minority Leader Stella Luz Alabastro-Quimbo on 3 May 21 said the panels ways and means of Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, social services of Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas and economic affairs of Aklan Rep. Teodorico Haresco Jr. have all approved the measure.
  • But the House appropriations committee headed by ACT-CIS Rep. Eric Go Yap will have the final say on the consolidated measure before it goes to plenary for the approval of a majority of the 300 House members.
  • The Salceda committee approved without amendments, in an online meeting on 3 May 21, the revenue provisions contained in Sections 34 and 35 of the unnumbered substitute bill to the proposed Bayanihan 3.
  • The revenue provision in Section 34 of the Bayanihan 3 substitute bill states that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas would be authorized to make additional direct provisional advances with or without interest to the national government.
  • “The measure will provide two rounds of PHP1,000 cash aid (ayuda) for every Filipino (per head), where the first tranche will cost about PHP108bn, and then after three months, another PHP108bn,” Marikina congresswoman Quimbo said, for a total of PHP216bn.
  • Quimbo and Vargas said the measure could be taken up in plenary debates for approval on second reading when session resumes on 17 May 21.
  • Haresco said that most of the proposed funding sources for Bayanihan 3 would come from existing unutilized appropriations, unreleased balances, dividends from GOCCs, as well as from excess revenue collection from tax and non-tax sources.
  • Apart from the total PHP216bn cash aid, the measure also provides PHP12bn as livelihood assistance for the Department of Social Welfare and Development, PHP10bn in assistance for displaced workers in Department of Labor and Employment, PHP8bn in wage subsidies for the Department of Finance’s program;
  • About PHP5.6bn for the information technology needs of the Department of Education, PHP3bn for the Medical Assistance for Indigents Program of the Department of Health and PHP54.6bn in the pension and gratuity fund for uniformed personnel – or a total of PHP93.2bn.

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