‘Bayanihan 2’ law certification by Duterte no longer needed

Published July 23, 2020, 3:01 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

President Duterte’s certification of the proposed “Bayanihan 2” law will no longer have an effect on the Senate which is set to approve their version of the bill soon.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Thursday that Duterte will certify as urgent the measure that would give him again the authority to realign funds and implement programs addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and would respond to the needs of affected sectors.

The certification would allow the Congress to immediately pass the proposed law on third and final reading.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III, however, said: “It does not matter anymore, (since) we are over the three-day rule already.”

Sotto referred to the Senate’s proposed “Bayanihan to Recover as One Act” which they approved on second reading before they adjourned sessions sine die in June.

On their last session day June 4, senators were waiting for the Malacanang certification of the measure, but nothing came due to reservations of government economic and finance managers. Roque also said then that the President was not asking for it.

Senate Bill No. 1564 sustains and expands some of the programs contained in the Republic Act 11469, or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, which expired last June 25. It includes the emergency subsidy for low-income households and assistance to affected teachers and students, among others.

The Senate proposal also provides a P140-billion standby fund for COVID-19 response and recovery programs.

Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, Senate Committee on Finance chair and sponsor of the SB 1564, said the President’s certification will, on the other hand, speed up the approval of the counterpart bill from the House of Representatives.

Members of the House have yet to deliberate on their Bayanihan 2 in the plenary.

READ MORE: Proposed ‘Bayanihan 2’ law to be certified as urgent