Gov’t departments lend full support to Bayanihan 3 House measure, except DOF

Published December 1, 2020, 11:57 PM

by Ben Rosario

With the exception of the Department of Finance (DOF), various government agencies and banks indicated their support for the passage of a third Bayanihan Law that will provide mechanisms for accelerated economic recovery and socio-economic relief amid the continued threat of the COVID 19 pandemic.


    In a virtual committee hearing presided by Aklan Rep. Teodorico Haresco, the House Committee on Economic Affairs, apparently inspired by the show of support for Bayanihan 3 bills, unanimously agreed to create a technical working group that would consolidate two pending measures.

Haresco, one of a handful economic geniuses in the Lower House, vowed to prioritize committee deliberation on a consolidated Bayanihan measure aimed at speeding up economic recovery in the country.

        The five-hour hearing gave the the measure much optimism of approval as Haresco urged various sectors in government to air their comments to make the final bill more responsive to the needs of the country as various COVID-19 vaccines showed encouraging clinical trial results.

Senior administration congressmen filed House Bill 8059 or the Bayanihan to Rebuild As One Act that proposes a P247-billion fund to hasten economic recovery while protecting the population through immunization.

HB 8059 was filed by Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, Deputy Speaker and Ambis-OWA Rep. Sharon Garin and Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda, chairman of the House Committee on Economic Affairs.

Opposition Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo of Marikina City filed House Bill 8031 containing an additional P400 billion funding for COVID-19 response and disaster resiliency programs.

However, the Department of Finance thru Assistant Secretary Ma. Teresa Habitan said the department’s attention is on how well the various government agencies will spend allocations to address the need for swift economic recovery next year.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar lauded the Lower House for extending the Bayanihan concept. 

Dar noted that aside from the economic damage wrought by the pandemic, the three typhoons that recently pummeled the country have caused a total of P16.2 billion destruction in terms of agriculture production and infrastructure.

The DA chief called on lawmakers to consider the level of funding support for agri-fisheries sector at P50 billion.

The Department of Agrarian Reform, represented in the hearing by Undersecretary Luis Pagulayan, aired support for a consolidated Bayanihan 3 bill.

On the other hand, the Department of Budget and Management noted that looking for sources of will be a vital issue in pursuing the measure.

Undersecretary Ireneo Vizmonte of the Department of Trade and Industry said DTI is fully backing the measure as it noted that the “end goal is reviving the economy and boosting resiliency” in the various sectors .