House ratifies final Bayanihan 2 bill

Photo from the House of Representatives' Facebook page

THE final version of the proposed Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, or Bayanihan 2 bill, is ready for transmittal to President Rodrigo Duterte for approval as it hurdled the House of Representatives on Monday, August 24, 2020.

The House ratified the bicameral conference committee report on Bayanihan 2 on Monday afternoon.

The measure features a P140-billion budget and a standby fund of P25.5 billion.

The P140-billion fund will finance the following:

  • P13.5 billion will be given to the Department of Health (DOH).
  • P820 million will be used to fund overseas Filipinos under the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
  • P13 billion for the government’s cash-for-work program and other support programs for Covid-affected sectors.
  • P600 million will be given as subsidies and allowances for students affected by the pandemic.
  • P300 million as subsidies and allowance for teaching and non-teaching personnel and part-time faculty in state universities and colleges (SUCs).
  • P180 million as allowance for national athletes and coaches.
  • P40 billion will be allocated to government banks as capital infusion to aid businesses and entrepreneurs.
  • P6 billion will be allocated for soft loans for tourism micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) under the Department of Trade’s (DTI) Small Business Corp.
  • P3 billion to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for assistance to displaced tourism workers.
  • P1 billion for tourism infrastructure under the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
  • P24 billion will be given to the Department of Agriculture (DA)
  • P9.5 million assistance will be given to the transportation industry under the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
  • P3 billion is allocated for the development of smart campuses across the country
  • P1 billion will be provided for the scholarships under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA scholarships).
  • P4 billion will be allocated for the implementation of the Department of Education’s (DepEd) digital education adjusting to the new normal.
  • P6 billion will be given to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for assistance to individuals in crisis situations.
  • P1.5 billion as assistance to local government units (LGUs)
  • P2 billion as interest subsidy for loans by LGUs from government financial institutions.
  • P5 billion for hiring more contact tracers;
  • P2.5 million for the computer-based licensure exams of the Philippine Red Cross;
  • P10 million for the research fund of the Health and Technology Assessment Council (HTAC); and
  • P15 million for the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman computational research laboratory.

The P40-billion allocation for government banks is broken down as follows:

P10 billion for the DTI Small Business Corporation, broken down as: P4 billion of which will be devoted for low-interest loans to MSMEs, cooperatives, hospitals, and OFWs; and P6 billion for tourism;

P18.4725 billion for the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP);

P6 billion for the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP); and

P5 billion for the Philippine Guarantee Corporation.

The 25.2 billion standby fund is broken down into:
  • P10 billion will be provided to the DOH for testing and possible procurement of vaccine.
  • P15.5 billion will be allotted as additional infusion to government banks.

A provision of the Bayanihan 2 requires the President to submit monthly reports to Congress on how the funds were used.

The Bayanihan 2 would also extend to December 19, 2020 the special powers that the Congress granted Duterte in the first Bayanihan law.

The Senate ratified the same Bayanihan 2 provisions on August 20. (SunStar Philippines)


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