Speaker Lord Allan Velasco on Saturday, July 31, pressed senators to pass the Bayanihan 3 bill as the government imposes anew the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila due to the threat of the COVID-19 Delta variant.
‘’We appeal to our counterparts in the Senate to pass this measure and to our economic managers to secure funding for this bill,’’ Velasco said.
‘’We must strive to find a balance between keeping our citizens safe while ensuring that their essential needs are secured,’’ he added.
Bayanihan to Arise as One Bill, or Bayanihan 3, provides for the distribution of additional cash subsidy for households in areas placed under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). It was passed on third and final reading in the House of Representative last June.
Around P30 billion is allocated for this proposed cash grant under the Bayanihan 3.
Velasco, an administration ally, said the executive department is doing all it could to mitigate the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19.
He urged everyone to observe health standards and to be extra vigilant so that our health care system will not be overwhelmed.
But House Deputy Speaker Bernadette Herrera asked Malacañang to reconsider its decision to place the National Capital Region under ECQ, citing the negative effect of the lockdown on the economy and residents.
Herrera warned that placing Metro Manila under the strictest quarantine status would further cripple the economy and push more people into extreme poverty.
“The economy and our people have suffered a lot and we they certainly cannot afford another lockdown without enough financial assistance from the government,” the Bagong Henerasyon representative lamented.
“Kawawa ang mga tao at negosyo dahil wala namang nakalaan na ayuda para sa kanila (Pity the ordinary citizens and businesses because there are no financial assistance for them),’’ she added.
The ECQ in Metro Manila will take effect from August 6 to 20.