Sen. Villanueva lauds signing of Bayanihan 2; will allow gov’t to continue programs on response to COVID-19

Published September 12, 2020, 7:24 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senator Joel Villanueva lauded on Saturday, Sept. 12, the signing of the “Bayanihan to Recover as One”, or Bayanihan 2 Act.

Sen. Joel Villanueva (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

In a statement, Villanueva said the law will allow the government to continue its programs to assist people and sectors that are most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially Filipino workers who lost their jobs.

He said this will also address the concerns of state universities and colleges (SUCs) in implementing flexible learning modalities this year, as well as the retooling and upskilling of displaced workers.

“While the 165.5 billion fund is not enough to cover all our concerns, we hope it will be enough to help spark our economic recovery. The Senate will keep a close watch on the use of the Bayanihan 2 funds to ensure that it is used properly and efficiently to address the needs of our people,” Villanueva, who chairs both the Senate committees on labor and higher education.

President Duterte signed on Friday night, Sept. 11, the Bayanihan 2 law which appropriates P165.5 billion for COVID-19 response and recovery programs. It also sustains the programs contained in the lapsed Bayanihan to Heal as One Act to assist the pandemic-hit sectors.

Of the amount, P140 billion are regular appropriations while P25.5 billion are standby funds.

Villanueva said that under the new law, P13 billion was allocated for displaced workers and overseas Filipino workers; P3 billion to assist SUCs; while P1 was allocated to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority for the upskilling and retooling of displaced workers.

Earlier, Senators Sonny Angara and Sherwin Gatchalian also welcomed the signing of the Bayanihan 2 law.