Bicam OKs final version of Bayanihan 2

The bicameral conference committee has approved the final version of the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2.


Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara said both houses of Congress have agreed to a ₱140-billion regular appropriation with an additional ₱25-billion standby appropriation should funds be readily available.

Compared to the House of Representatives version – which pegged the appropriation to ₱162 billion – the Senate’s version has minimum items. Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Finance and a member of the Senate contingent to the bicameral conference committee, said they expect to ratify the measure Thursday.

The senator assured that both houses of Congress were able to settle the contentious provision for the ₱10-billion assistance to the tourism sector.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon had earlier disclosed the Senate and House contingent could not agree on the ₱10-billion assistance to the tourism sector, which was heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Drilon later said the bicam approved the Bayanihan 2 with the ₱10-billion appropriation for the tourism sector, of which P6 billion would be earmarked for soft loans for tourism micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) under the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Small Business Corp.; ₱3 billion in the Department for Labor and Employment (DOLE) for displaced tourism workers; and ₱1 billion for tourism infrastructure under the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).