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House Committee of the Whole approves proposed 'Bayanihan to Recover As One Act'

The House Committee of the Whole on Wednesday approved the measure proposing P162 billion-worth of response interventions to help the country recover from the COVID-19 crisis and boost the economy.

The chamber convened into the Committee of the Whole late Wednesday evening to approve the substitute bill for the measures which sought to extend the validity of the "Bayanihan to Heal As One Act."

The substitute bill was then renamed as the "Bayanihan to Recover As One Act" under House Bill 6953, which Deputy Speaker Luis Raymund Villafuerte described as the "new and enhanced" version of the first Bayanihan law.

Under the measure, a P162 billion standby fund will be appropriated and be used to support operations and response measures to address the COVID-19 crisis.

The breakdown of the amount is as follows:

  • P12 billion for the procurement of PRC testing and extraction kits, supplies and materials for COVID-19 testing and for the enhancement of DOH capacity to provide healthcare services
  • P18 billion for the implementation of cash-for-work program and the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD)
  • P5 billion for the implementation of the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation Program of the DWSD
  • P21 billion for unemployment or involuntary separation assistance to the displaced workers in health, education, tourism, culture and arts, creative industry, transportation and other sectors affected by the pandemic
  • P50 billion for infusion of capital to government financial institutions
  • P21 billion support to the agriculture sector
  • P21 billion assistance to the critically impacted businesses in the transportation industry and for the development of accessible sidewalks and protected bicycle lanes
  • P10 billion to finance DOT programs to assist impacted businesses in the tourism industry
  • P3 billion assistance to state universities and colleges for their transition to flexible learning modality
  • P1 billion assistance to Technical Education and Skills Development Authority for the development of smart campuses

Like the first Bayanihan Law, this measure also provides for the grant of P5,000 to P8,000 subsidy, but now covers "all affected Filipinos" which include low income families, households with recently returned OFWs, and no-work-no-pay individuals such as freelancers and self-employed individuals.

It also grants a one month emergency subsidy to low income households who are qualified but not granted such as mandated in the first Bayanihan Law.

Once enacted into law, the measure will take effect in full force only until September 30 this year.

A similar measure was approved by the Senate on second reading on Wednesday afternoon.

Apart from this measure, the House was also deliberating on other COVID-19 response measures such as the proposed P1.3 trillion Accelerated Recovery and Investments Stimulus for the Economy (ARISE) Act and the proposed P1.5 trillion COVID-19 Unemployment Reduction Economic Stimulus (CURES) Act. -- BAP, GMA News