House panel seeks expeditious plenary debates on substitute bill for GUIDE Act

The House Committee on Ways and Means sought Monday the expeditious plenary deliberation on a bill granting incentives and exemption privileges to government financial institutions, including the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), to further strengthen their capacity to assist the country’s micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) unfavorably affected by the COVID-19 crisis.


In a virtual meeting, Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, chairman of the panel, made the call after his committee formally approved “without amendments" the substitute bill for House Bill No. 6795 or the proposed Government Financial Institutions Unified Initiatives to Distressed Enterprises for Economic Recovery (GUIDE) Act amid the decision of the bicameral conference committee not to include the measure’s provision in the proposed Bayanihan To Recover As One Act or Bayanihan 2 bill.

“May mga concerns din ako (I have also concerns), pero (but) I just send my concerns directly to the chairman of the Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries and hopefully, we can accommodate some of my concerns through a substitution bill that may be sponsored by the House Committee on Rules. Kasi (But) in principle, inapprove na natin ito (we already approved this), kaso hindi nga tinanggap ng bicam (but this was not accepted by the bicam),” Salceda said.

The bill is principally authored by Quirino Rep. Junie Cua, chairman of the House Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries.

“Ito (this is a) gentleman’s agreement, all your concerns just send it to the Committee in Banks and Financial Intermediaries, but you can copy furnish the Committee on Rules para malaman ng (House) leadership (so that the leadership will know),” he added.

During its virtual deliberation on Aug. 10, Salceda expressed his panel’s full support to the measure, which seeks the creation of a holding company called Accelerate Recovery to Intensify Solidarity and Equity Inc. (ARISE) that will infuse equity under strict conditions to strategic enterprises, and will make more loans available to MSMEs.

Salceda recommended to House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano the inclusion of GUIDE provisions in the Bayanihan 2 measure.

The bill aims to provide financial assistance to distressed enterprises critical to economic recovery through programs and initiatives to be implemented by Philippine Guarantee Corp. (PGC), LBP, and DBP, for purposes of addressing liquidity or solvency problems of MSMEs and strategically important industries, encourage their continued operations, and maintain employment levels.