THE Department of Finance (DOF) has assured the House of Representatives that efforts are being made to identify funding sources for the P420-billion Bayanihan 3, Speaker Lord Alan Velasco on Wednesday.
Velasco said he got the assurance from Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III during a recent virtual meeting with the DOF.
The country’s economic managers had reportedly said they were not sure if the third stimulus package would still be necessary if quarantine restrictions were eased further and the economy moves faster.
“It’s a matter of finding revenues to be able to fund those programs. Secretary Dominguez did not actually shoot down Bayanihan 3,” Velasco said in a statement.
“Definitely, he (Dominguez) really wants to help the Filipino people. Ang sinabi lang niya [He just said, please] give him time to look for the funding,” he added.
The speaker is pushing for the passage of Bayanihan 3 as more areas were placed under localized lockdowns and some businesses were again forced to shut down due to a surge in Covid-19 cases.
Velasco filed Bayanihan 3 in February after the passage of the bill extending the validity of Bayanihan 2, and upon seeing further need to allocate additional funds to help the nation cope with the pandemic.
“A third economic stimulus package will provide a much-needed lifeline to individuals, families and businesses severely affected by the pandemic,” said the speaker.
To date, 224 members from the supermajority, minority and independent blocs in the House of Representatives have signed either as principal authors or co-authors of the measure.
House Bill 8628 or the proposed “Bayanihan to Arise As One Act” seeks to allocate P108 billion for additional social amelioration to impacted households, P100 billion for capacity-building for impacted sectors, P52 billion for wage subsidies, P70 billion for wage subsidies, P70 billion for capacity-building for agricultural producers, P30 billion for internet allowances to students and teachers, P30 billion for assistance to displaced workers, P25 billion for Covid-19 treatment and vaccines, and P5 billion for the rehabilitation of areas impacted by recent floods and typhoons.
Under the measure, each household member will receive P1,000 regardless of their economic status. On top of this, a P1,000 allowance will be provided to each student and teacher, and P8,000 for every displaced worker.
Image credits: AP