Senators back passage of a stimulus package to help distressed industries

Published May 25, 2022, 10:09 AM

by Mario Casayuran

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri and other senators in the May 9, 2022 senatorial elections on Wednesday (May 25) threw their full support for the passage of a proposed stimulus package for distressed industries hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.

‘’My campaign promise is to pass a Bayanihan 3 package to provide funding assistance to distressed industries such as tourism and MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) that were affected by the pandemic,’’ Zubiri, a re-electionist, said.

‘’So the request of our President to pass a stimulus package is part of my legislative priority as a re-elected Senator of the 19th Congress and will have my full support,’’ he added.

‘’This measure is badly needed to jump start our economic recovery and push us to becoming an Asian tiger in the region,’’ he stressed.

Senator-elect Loren Legarda, a former senator, said she supports the proposed stimulus package to be given to small businesses severely affected by Covid-19.

‘’I will ensure that the MSME law will be adequately funded. I will ensure that MSME programs of various government agencies will be effectively implemented. I will support the economic empowerment of every Filipino family,’’ she stressed.

Asked if she would support the immediate approval if the proposed P5 trillion plus 2023 national budget, Legarda replied: ‘’Yes, of course. We will study the NEP (National Expenditure Program).. see if it’s aligned to a pandemic recovery budget, and amend when needed.’’

Senator-elect Francis ‘’Chiz’’ Escudero said: ‘’I completely agree! ‘’

‘’This is exactly what we need, especially for MSME’s and the agriculture sector! Election spending spurred and increased our GDP (gross domestic product) and must be sustained in order to spur the economy further and create needed stable jobs domestically,’’ he pointed out.

Escudero said possible sources, aside from borrowing, would be the sale of unnecessary government assets, improvement in the collection of current taxes, fees and charged, curbing/lessening corruption and the proper allocation of scarce resources through the yearly budget.

`‘’I look forward to working with like-minded and development/reform-oriented people in government, regardless of affiliation or color they may have had or carried in the last elections and call on our people to do the same. Our country and people deserve nothing less,’’ he added.

Senator Aquilino ‘’Koko’’ Pimentel said the general ideas are good.

‘’But we have to look at the details,’’ he said.

Presumptive president Ferdinand Marcos Jr. had said he would work closely with the incoming 19th Congress for the immediate passage of the 2023 national budget, stressing the need for his administration to look for other sources of income to fund his administration’s programs and projects.

The incoming Marcos administration aims to pass a measure that would give stimulus packages for the businesses severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.