Senators call for immediate implementation of Bayanihan 2 law

Published September 23, 2020, 5:09 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senator Juan Edgardo  Angara urged on Wednesday the Department of Finance (DOF) and other concerned government agencies to implement the provisions of the Bayanihan 2 law without delay.


During the Senate finance committee’s hearing on the DOF’s proposed 2021 budget, Angara, who leads the panel, said the Republic Act 11494 or the “Bayanihan to Recover as One” Act is immediately effective after it was published September 15.

Angara noted that during the bicameral conference committee meetings on the Bayanihan 2, lawmakers agreed that an IRR was no longer needed for the implementation of the law.

“We passed Bayanihan 2 and we put in there that it is immediately effective even without the IRR (implementing rules and regulations). But some of the stakeholders are still waiting for orders that are already enforced,” Angara, who also sponsored the law.

“Although the implementing rules are no longer needed for effectivity, I think they are waiting. I think BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) has issued an order but perhaps others like the Insurance Commission can issue compliance orders. That would be great for our borrowers and the affected stakeholders, Mr. Secretary. Maybe we can remind them or inform them to issue these orders,” he told Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III.

Section 18 of RA 11494 states that the law “shall take effect immediately upon its publication in a newspaper of general circulation or in the Official Gazette.”

But he said many government agencies and private entities were still hesitant in implementing the Bayanihan 2 and sought for guidance thru an IRR. Some agencies, meanwhile, have issued guidelines for the implementation of its provisions.

In the case of BSP, it already issued a memorandum for all covered institutions to “implement a mandatory, one-time, 60-day grace period to all loans that are existing, current and outstanding, falling due, or any part thereof, on or before December 31, 2020.”

The Bayanihan 2 provides a grace period for loans, amortizations, premium, lease and credit card payments of all banks, quasi-banks, financing companies, lending companies, real estate developers, insurance companies providing life insurance policies, pre-need companies, entities providing in-house financing for goods and properties purchased, asset and liabilities management companies and other public and private financial institutions.

These include the Government Services Insurance System, Social Security System and Home Development Mutual Fund.

The law also provides for a minimum 30-day grace period for the payment of electric, water, telecommunications and other similar utilities bills that fall due within the period of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and modified ECQ and a minimum 30-day grace period on residential and commercial rents.

Dominguez said their team already submitted a draft IRR for Bayanihan 2 to Malacañang, a day after it was signed by President Duterte last September 11. He said he will ask the executive department to “move ahead very quickly” in response to the appeal of Congress.