Velasco files ₱420-B Bayanihan 3 bill to rev up PH economy

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 7) — House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco filed a third version of the Bayanihan bill, seeking to secure an additional stimulus package amounting to ₱420 billion that will help revive the pandemic-battered economy.

Velaso, with Marikina City 2nd District Representative Stella Luz Quimbo, filed House Bill (HB) No. 8628 or the proposed “Bayanihan to Arise As One Act,” also known as Bayanihan 3 last Thursday, but the statement on this was issued only today.

The bill hopes to be a continuation of the Bayanihan to Heal as One and Bayanihan to Recover as One laws that were passed last year to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Velasco stressed the need to inject new funds targeted to fight the pandemic as the Philippine economy continues to drown.

In August last year, the government reported that the country entered into a recession as the economy plunged by 16.5 percent in the second quarter due to the Luzon-wide lockdown. It remains in recession, recording another 8.3 percent drop in the last three months of 2020.

"Given that actual economic output in 2020 was far below what was assumed for budget purposes, and further losses may still be incurred as the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to prevail well into the current fiscal year, an additional economic stimulus package is needed to help the government meet its recovery targets for the year," Velasco was quoted as saying in the statement.

Bulk of the proposed funding would help businesses survive the pandemic, and deliver another wave of cash aid for poor Filipino families.

Here's the breakdown of the proposed Bayanihan to Arise As One Act:

• ₱52 billion for small business subsidies

• ₱100 billion for the "capacity-building of businesses in critically impacted sectors"

• ₱108 billion for additional cash assistance to impacted households

• ₱70 billion for the agriculture sector

• ₱30 billion for assistance to displaced workers

• ₱30 billion for internet allowances to primary, secondary and tertiary students and teachers

• ₱5 billion for the rehabilitation of typhoon-hit areas

• ₱25 billion for the procurement of COVID-19 medication and vaccines, and to finance operational expenses related to vaccination