By CHINO S. LEYCO
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said that the government is preparing additional economic stimulus package to urgently support the country’s most vulnerable sectors to the effects of month-long enhanced quarantine measures.
Dominguez said the government’s additional relief funds, composed of food and cash subsidies as well as health care and other necessities, are “in the works” in coordination with the local government unites (LGUs).
Asked what sectors to benefit from the additional support, Dominguez said “workers in the informal sector.”
Dominguez said the amount for the additional economic package will be determined by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Department of Health (DOH).
Last week, the Duterte administration unveiled its initial P27.1-billion economic package to help frontliners fight the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and provide immediate economic relief to people and sectors affected.
The package is consisted of government initiatives to equip health authorities in fighting COVID-19 and also for the relief and recovery efforts for infected people and the various sectors now reeling from the adverse impact of the lethal pathogen.
Meanwhile, Dominguez said that they are amenable to the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines’ (FINEX) call for an emergency calamity amelioration program to help the poor, jobless, and disadvantaged, who are feeling the brunt of the national calamity.
Last Friday, FINEX called on Congress to immediately authorize, in an enabling measure, President Rodrigo Duterte, to realign unspent or unobligated appropriations under the 2020 national budget for emergency calamity amelioration.
“We also urge that the President be authorized to augment such funds in the budget with those of government owned and controlled corporations to be utilized for the same emergency purpose and duration,” FINEX added.
The funds shall be used to provide aid to gravely affected sectors, such as small and medium enterprises (SMEs), FINEX said.