Senate amenable to increasing Bayanihan 2 budget to P162 B

The Senate is amenable to increasing the appropriation for the proposed Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2 to P162 billion, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said  Sunday.

The Senate had earlier approved its version of the bill with a P140 billion allocation while the House of Representatives proposed P162 billion.


Drilon, who is part of the Senate contingent to the bicameral conference committee reconciling the different version on the Bayanihan 2, said both chambers have agreed to a higher allocation.

“Nagkakasundo ang dalawang panig na siguro aabot tayo sa P162 billion. Payag ang Senado diyan (Both sides agree that we may come up with P162 billion. The Senate agrees with it),” Drilon said in an interview over GMANewsTV.

Drilon said among the benefits that would be included in the Bayanihan 2 program is additional P10 billion for COVID-PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing; P15 billion for cash for work program; P17 billion for cash subsidy in employees in small businesses; P50 billion for the loan program that would be facilitated through the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP); P17 billion for the agriculture industry; and P10 billion for the transportation industry.

Similar to the Bayanihan 1, or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, Drilon said the proposed law will also provide P5,000 to P8,000 cash subsidy under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) to families in the informal sector.

“Meron ulit at kasama 'yan sa sinabi ko kanina, 'yung (There will be another batch of cash assistance that is included to what I itemized, that’s the) support program for the impacted sector,” the senator said.

“'Yung sa social amelioration, P5,000 to P8,000 depende kung saan, dito sa NCR o sa probinsiya ang bawat pamilya sa informal sector (depending on the location, whether in the National Capital Region or province where the informal sector families are located),” he added.

The bicameral conference committee, he said, also agreed to provide a P15,000 cash assistance for health workers with mild and moderate COVID-19 cases; P100,000 for those who had severe cases, and P1 million for the relatives of the person who died due to COVID.

“Ito po ay (This is) retroactive,” Drilon said.