The Philippines: Senate extends 2020 GAA, Bayanihan 2 validity

  • The Senate on 15 Dec 20 approved the extension of the validity of the 2020 General Appropriations Act (GAA) and the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2 to allow the government to spend more in 2021 to address the COVID-19 pandemic and revive the country’s economy.
  • The certification dispensed with the three-day rule in passing bills on second reading, and third and final reading to allow the quick passage of the measures.
  • Sen. Sonny Angara, who chairs the Senate committee on finance, sponsored the committee reports on the two bills, which are expected to be ratified on 16 Dec 20, the last day of session of Congress.
  • The effectivity of Bayanihan 2 was extended to 30 Jun 21, while the 2020 GAA will be until the end of 2021. Being a law that granted Duterte emergency authority, Bayanihan 2 is expiring on 19 Dec 20 or when Congress adjourns session.
  • Under the 2020 GAA, Angara said around PHP110bn or roughly 4% of the PHP2.84tr in programmed appropriations has yet to be released as of the end of Nov 20.
  • In the case of Bayanihan 2, Angara said PHP38bn or 23% of the PHP140bn in regular appropriations and PHP25.52bn in standby funds has yet to be released as of 11 Dec 20.
  • Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said the extensions should lead to more government spending in 2021 that should help the country recover from recession.
  • Recto said extending the two laws would add at least PHP150bn to the PHP4.5tr national budget for 2021 that is expected to be signed by Duterte before the end of 2020.

External Link :