Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said Friday the country is “well on our way” to strengthen its health care system and provide assistance to the various sectors that have been adversely affected by the pandemic with the signing of the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act.
In a statement, Andanar said the newly-signed law contains a stimulus package plan consisting of PHP140-billion worth of regular appropriations and an additional standby fund of PHP25.5 billion that would sustain the government’s “proactive responses” and help the impacted industries recover from the economic downturn caused by the health crisis.
The affected sectors include agriculture, tourism, transportation, as well as micro, small, and medium enterprises.
“With President Rodrigo Duterte’s signing of the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2, we are well on our way to further intensify our aid and assistance not only to the health care sector, but also to the affected sectors of agriculture, tourism, and transportation, among others, that were impacted by the Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic,” he said.
Andanar highlighted the need for a stimulus package as “we gradually reopen our economy to bounce back and to achieve our forecasted growths for the coming months and year.”
In line with the Duterte administration’s commitment to upholding accountability and transparency in the government, he said the Palace would submit a monthly report to Congress regarding the implementation of the Bayanihan 2 law, especially on public expenditure, until December this year.
“With Bayanihan 2 in place, we are set to heal and recover as one nation as we continue our fight against Covid-19,” Andanar said.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed in a statement on Friday that Duterte signed the Bayanihan 2 law, which also grants special powers anew to the President to best deal with the pandemic.
“We confirm that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed into law the Bayanihan 2 or the Bayanihan to Recover As One Act,” Roque said.
He thanked the leaders of both houses of Congress for the swift passage of the measure that was ratified in August.
“We consider the Bayanihan 2 crucial in our efforts to gradually reopen the economy, support businesses, and revitalize growth as we make our country resilient to Covid-19 by strengthening our health sector, particularly our health care capacity and pandemic response,” Roque said.
Under the law, PHP3 billion will be allotted for the procurement of personal protective equipment, face masks, and face shields; PHP4.5 billion for the construction of temporary medical isolation and quarantine facilities and the expansion of government hospital capacity; and PHP13.5 billion for emergency employment and compensation of health workers.
Furthermore, PHP13 billion will be allocated for the cash-for-work program; PHP9.5 billion for assistance to public utility drivers and other programs of the transportation department; PHP6 billion for “individuals in crisis” and other programs of the social welfare department; PHP4 billion for the tourism industry; and PHP4 billion for the education department’s implementation of digital learning.
The Bayanihan to Recover as One Act is the second installment of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (Bayanihan 1), which gave Duterte emergency powers to address the Covid-19 crisis in the country.
The Bayanihan 1 law expired on June 25. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency