Solon appeals to senators to pass ₱1.3-trillion ARISE Bill to help economy bounce back

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 12) – The principal author of the ₱1.3-trillion economic stimulus package in the House of Representatives appealed to senators to pass the bill since it is significant to the country’s road to economic recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

House economic cluster co-chair Rep. Stella Quimbo of Marikina's 2nd District explained the Accelerated Recovery and Investments Stimulus for the Economy of the Philippines (ARISE Philippines) Bill will help the country bounce back from economic woes brought by the pandemic.

She noted that the high economic contraction in this year’s second quarter added ₱400 billion in the country’s economic losses.

“We’re now looking at ₱2.4-trillion for the entire year," Quimbo told CNN Philippines' Rico Hizon. "So that’s the amount of damage that an economic stimulus package needs to avert.”

Quimbo, also a noted economist, said the Bayanihan to Recover As One Bill (Bayanihan 2) is not enough to pump up the country’s economy. The Senate allotted ₱140 billion in its Bayanihan 2 version while the House allocated ₱162 billion.

She also said the economic stimulus bill will guide the government in properly using loans and bring the country into good macroeconomic fundamentals despite uncertain times.

“One way to use loans properly is precisely to have a coherent economic stimulus package where guidelines could be put in place so that we can make sure whatever funds we put into an economic stimulus package would be used productively,” said Quimbo.

The ARISE Bill, passed by the House in third and final reading on June 4, seeks to extend support to micro, small, and medium enterprises and other sectors affected by the pandemic.

Under the proposed measure, a ₱568-billion package is intended for immediate employment protection stimulus for affected workers. Around ₱80 billion from the package will be allocated for 2021, and ₱650 billion will be for the “Build, Build, Build” program to be spread within three years in projects for healthcare, education, and security.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III promised the ARISE Bill will be one of the Senate’s priority measures when it opened its regular session last July 27.