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House okays P162-billion stimulus package

The House of Representatives on Monday approved on third and final reading the proposed Bayanihan to Recover As One Act, or the Bayanihan 2, by a 242-6 vote.

The chamber, in plenary session Monday, approved House Bill 6953, which provides a P162-billion standby fund intended “to support operations and response measures to address the COVID-19 pandemic.”

This includes emergency subsidy to workers, cash-for-work programs, prevention and control of other diseases, support programs for impacted sectors, and support for the agricultural sector.

The Senate earlier passed its version of the bill that provides for a ₱140-billion standby fund for socioeconomic and health programs needed to help the government deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The House version of Bayanihan 2 bill also provides:

 • P12 billion for the procurement of PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing and extraction kits, supplies and materials for COVID-19 testing, and the enhancement of the Department of Health's capacity to provide healthcare services;

• P18 billion for the implementation of cash-for-work program and the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD);

• P5 billion for the implementation of the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development;

• P21 billion for unemployment or involuntary separation assistance to the displaced workers in health, education, tourism, culture and arts, creative industry, transportation and other sectors affected by the pandemic;

• P50 billion for infusion of capital to government financial institutions;

• P21 billion in support to the agriculture sector;

• P21 billion in assistance to critically-impacted businesses in the transportation industry and for the development of accessible sidewalks and protected bicycle lanes;

• P10 billion to finance Department of Tourism programs to assist impacted businesses in the tourism industry;

• P3 billion assistance to state universities and colleges for their transition to flexible learning modality; and

• P1 billion assistance to Technical Education and Skills Development Authority for the development of smart campuses.

Topics: House of Representatives , Bayanihan 2 , COVID-19 pandemic , Department of Health
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