TWO lawmakers have filed a measure seeking to extend the validity of Republic Act (RA) 11494 or Bayanihan to Recover as One (Bayanihan 2).
House Bill 8099 authored by AAMBIS-OWA Party-list Rep. Sharon Garin and Deputy Speaker Weslie Gatchalian proposes to extend the validity of Bayanihan 2 until March 27, 2021.
Bayanihan 2 was enacted to help the economy recover from slowdown due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The extension, according to Garin and Gatchalian, will ensure consistent and efficient delivery of assistance to the Filipino people and help aid economic recovery.
According to the report presented by the Executive Department to Congress on the implementation of the first two Bayanihan packages, a substantial delay was revealed in the release of the funds intended to provide assistance to the people through the various programs and activities, and projects, particularly those enumerated in RA 11494.
Garin maintains that these programs and projects are vital in the recovery path envisioned by Congress and the measures necessary to avert economic collapse.
Upon the enactment of the bill, the availability of the appropriations provided under Section 10 of RA 11494 and Republic Act No. 11465, otherwise known as the General Appropriations Act of 2020, including interventions and the automatic appropriations of new programs, projects and activity under Section 4 (rr) of RA 11494, shall be extended until the next adjournment of the 18th Congress on March 27, 2021.
The bill also prescribes the extension applicability to Local Government Units (LGUs) and Government Financial institutions (GFIs) to allow the completion of disbursements intended for COVID-19 response and recovery interventions.
The bill has been pending with the Committee on Appropriations since December 1. The authors maintain that the delay in the release of these funds will adversely affect and hinder the implementation of the projects and programs meant to combat the effects of COVID-19 and alleviate the plight of the affected Filipinos and businesses.