An international good governance watch dog has hailed the the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (Bayanihan 1) as one of the “best practices” worldwide by any government as a response to the ongoing Coronavirus Disease-2019 pandemic.
The International Budget Partnership in a report, praised the Philippines’ efforts in its passage of Bayanihan 1, specifically its provisions “ensuring weekly reports on COVID-19 response actions” to oversee the landmark bill’s implementation.
The IBP is an independent watchdog advocating transparent, inclusive, and accountable government budget processes.
The report, that was release last month, said that only four countries, including the Philippines, were rated as “having an adequate level of accountability” in early COVID fiscal policy responses. The other countries were Australia, Norway, and Peru.
Passed under the leadership of then Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, Bayanihan 1 was the country’s first economic recovery plan to help curb the effects of the pandemic.
Bayanihan 1 allowed the national government to reallocate, realign, and reprogram P275 billion from the annual budget in response to the pandemic.
The passage of Bayanihan 1 likewise provided for the purchase of testing kits and medical supplies, as well as the building of quarantine facilities and isolation centers for those suspected to have contracted the virus.
Together with the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, it formed the backbone of Cayetano’s efforts to bring the country into the better normal.