A HOUSE leader on Monday urged Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez to include financial aid for private school teachers and personnel under the proposed Bayanihan to Recover as One bill or Bayanihan 2.
“We should have one-time assistance for employees in private schools who, like most of our workers, have been affected by the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic. Many of these employees have been without jobs and income as well,” said Deputy Speaker and 1-Pacman party-list Rep. Mikee Romero.
If a special session is called this week or before the resumption of Congress’ session on July 27, Romualdez, chairman of the powerful House committee on rules, said the House leadership under Cayetano is “committed to approve the Bayanihan II to help President Rodrigo Duterte kickstart our economy and strengthen government’s fight against the spread of COVID-19.”
Earlier, Romualdez, a lawyer from the University of the Philippines (UP), said the bill which would feature economic stimulus programs, is very necessary to jumpstart the shuttered economy, mainly by generating jobs for the Filipino people.
“We have to support the President to ensure the country and Filipinos’ survival from this pandemic. The members of the House Majority are in full agreement that we all have to work for the passage of the Bayanihan II. We will get the job done,” Romualdez, president of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) and Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa).
Romero said private school personnel should receive financial assistance like low-income families which Congress gave P5,000 to P8,000 under the Bayanihan 1 or We Heal as One Act the legislature passed in March days after the coronavirus outbreak.
“We can categorize them as low-income and include the same amount of aid for them in Bayanihan 2, depending on the regions where they are located,” said Romero.
Romero pointed out that private school teachers would continue to be without income until classes open in August.
The House leader noted that in the case of the more than 700,000 personnel of public schools, they continued to receive salaries during the pandemic.
He said private school employees who already received P5,000 to P8,000 under Bayanihan 1 would no longer get additional assistance if Congress includes such aid in Bayanihan 2 The Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) and private schools could be asked to identify potential beneficiaries, he said.
“Our workers in the private education system need our help. Like most of our people, they too are suffering from this pandemic,” said Romero.