HOUSE Majority Leader and Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin G. Romualdez on Monday appealed to their Senate counterparts to also consider the immediate passage of the proposed P405.6-billion Bayanihan to Arise As One or Bayanihan 3.
Romualdez, chairman of the House committee on rules, urged Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri and senators to speed up the approval of Bayanihan 3 that is critical to the country’s survival during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
“We earnestly urge our colleagues in the Senate to give priority on the passage of the Bayanihan 3,” appealed Romualdez, one of the principal authors of Bayanihan 3.
“We need Bayanihan 3 to help ensure that the economy recovers quickly from the coronavirus disease 2019-induced crisis in a strong, sustainable, and resilient manner,” stressed Romualdez, a lawyer from the University of the Philippines (UP) and president of the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa), after the House committees on economic affairs and on social services chaired by AAMBIS-OWA party-list Rep. Sharon Garin and Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas, respectively, approved the Bayanihan 3.
“This measure will help our fellow Filipinos who are all affected by the pandemic, and we are confident that before we adjourn, we will be able to pass the measure,” said Romualdez, president of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD).
“To fast track economic recovery and pump prime the economy, implementation ready programs, activities, and projects, including programs, activities, and projects that have not yet undergone the procurement process, whether for comprehensive release or for later release shall not be discontinued and appropriations for such programs, activities and projects shall be immediately released,” the amendment of the Bayanihan 3 said.
The Bayanihan 3 provides two P1,000 financial assistance to all Filipinos amounting to P216 billion or a total of P2,000 each.
The release of funds under the Bayanihan 3 is expected to be done in three phases.
The first phase covers P167 billion that includes P108 billion for the first tranche of the P1,000 financial assistance, P12 billion for Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) under the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), P8 billion wage subsidy, P10 billion for displaced and disadvantaged workers, and P20 billion for the Pension and Gratuity Fund (PGF) for retired military and uniformed personnel (MUP).
Phase 2 amounts to P191 billion and covers the tranche of the P1,000 financial assistance. Another P20 billion will be included for the PGF of retired MUP.
Under Phase 3, Bayanihan 3 provides P47.6 billion with P15 billion allocation to assist the agri-fishery sector.
Speaker Lord Allan Jay Velasco bared that at least 290 of the 300 House members are now the principal authors or co-authors of the measure.
“Kalinga. Kabuhayan. Kalusugan. Similar in the past, when our ancestor used Bayanihan to help one another, today the Members of the Philippine House of Representatives have the similar opportunity to ease the burden and share the load of our fellow Filipinos. By passing the proposed substitute bill, we are one step closer in ending the pandemic or plight and hunger that our embattled society is facing,” Velasco said.