Each Filipino may get ₱2,000 'ayuda' under the proposed Bayanihan 3, solon says

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 5) — Regardless of age or social status, each Filipino will be entitled to a ₱2,000 cash aid under the draft of the third COVID-19 stimulus package to help them cope with the effects of the pandemic.

Speaking to CNN Philippines' The Source on Wednesday, Marikina Rep. Stella Quimbo said the proposed Bayanihan to Arise as One Act or the Bayanihan 3 will allot ₱216 billion for the cash grant, out of the ₱406-billion total budget of the draft measure.

"The pandemic affected everyone regardless of age, regardless of income status. We all got affected," she said. "Katulad ng sinasabi ng marami, kung hindi ka man mamatay sa COVID, baka naman gutom ang ikamatay mo" (Like what the others would say, if you will not die because of COVID, you might die of hunger).

She said Bayanihan 3, which has already hurdled the House ways and means committee, covers aid for the country's 108 million population to be distributed in two tranches by the local government units.

"This is largely an ayuda bill. ₱405.6 billion will be largely for ayuda...₱1,000 for Filipinos for two tranches. 108 million times ₱1,000 is ₱108 billion for the first tranche. And another ₱108 billion for second tranche," she added.

READ: Bayanihan 3 bill hurdles House committees

Quimbo explained that the distribution of aid — marred in earlier Bayanihan programs by a lack of an updated list of eligible beneficiaries — was simplified under the proposed measure by allotting a budget for every Filipino. She added that it's going to be the fourth time that aid will be distributed during the pandemic and "it's going to be a much-improved version."

The measure also seeks to allot ₱30 billion to the Department of Social Welfare and Development for the provision of a separate cash assistance of up to ₱10,000 for each household with a member who got infected by the virus.

The Department of Labor and Employment will also be given ₱25 billion to help displaced workers while ₱20 billion will be set aside for wage subsidies. Some ₱30 billion would be given to the agri-fishery sector, to help farmers and hog raisers to augment their resources and means of livelihood which were largely impacted by the African swine flu and the previous typhoons.

The Education Department will also be given a ₱5.6-billion budget to provide teachers and students with gadgets or internet connectivity and let them fulfill their functions under distance learning. Some ₱54 billion will also be allocated for the pension of retired military and police officers.

Quimbo expressed hope that the Senate and President Rodrigo Duterte will be as optimistic about the measure as the lower chamber is, especially when economic managers start identifying sources for the fund.

RELATED: Econ managers now identifying sources for Bayanihan 3 — Velasco 

The substitute bill for Bayanihan 3 still needs to be forwarded to the House appropriations committee before it undergoes plenary debates. Sessions in the House and Senate will resume on May 17.