House to ratify Bayanihan 2 Monday, vows to keep an eye on the P165.5-billion 'Bangon' Fund

The House of Representatives has vowed to keep an eye on the use of the P165.5-billion "Bangon" fund for the implementation of the government’s strengthened response against COVID-19 and programs that would hasten country’s socio-economic recovery as it is expected to ratify Monday the proposed Bayanihan to Recover As One Act.


"We are set to ratify the Bayanihan 2 bill when when we resume session tomorrow. But this time, we made sure that certain provisions are set in place for a strict implementation of the law," House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez said.

"From Day One of the implementation of law, the House of Representatives will closely monitor how government agencies disburse the budget allocated to them. Delays in disbursing funds to the needy are no longer acceptable,” Romualdez said, referring to the slow distribution of emergency cash subsidy under the national government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP) as provided for by Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, which first gave special powers to President Duterte in March to strengthen his government’s COVID-19 response.

Under the bill, affected low income households in areas under granular lockdown and to households with recently returned Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are entitled to receive an emergency subsidy of P5,000 to P8,000 based on prevailing regional minimum wage rates.

Romualdez assured the public that the "vetting and validation of beneficiaries of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP), and the related liquidation report shall be simplified to expedite the distribution of the subsidy.”

He said under the proposed Act, the local government units’ submission of a definitive and actual list of SAP beneficiaries is mandated.

"This will allow Congress to exercise its oversight function more efficiently in monitoring how these funds are disbursed to the beneficiaries. We do not want repeat of Bayanihan 1 where absence of database resulted to confusion in distribution of funds,” he said.

"We have all learned our lessons in the implementation of Bayanihan Act. We now have to ensure that the money goes where they matter the most. No duplication of beneficiaries, but no one left behind,” he stressed.

Deputy Speaker Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr., who led the House panel in the bicameral conference committee meeting on the Bayanihan 2, said the 301-man House will ratify the Bayanihan 2 with provisions seeking to strengthen the COVID-19 response capabilities of LGUs and hasten the recovery of businesses hit hard by the coronavirus-induced global economic crisis.

"The House ratification this week will clear the way to the enrolled bill's submission to Malacañang for President's Duterte's signature in time for its possible enactment into law by September,” he said.