Step up Bayanihan law enforcement -- Legarda

HOUSE Deputy Speaker and Antique Rep. Loren Legarda has appealed to the government to swiftly enforce all provisions of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act or Republic Act. No. 11469.

In a statement, Legarda said since the law was signed on March 24, the people should now start benefiting from this especially that the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is worsening.

The main purpose of the new law is to provide aid for affected families and bolster support for frontliners and personnel in arresting the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.

Legarda is one of the authors of the measure.

She also expressed full support to the mobilization of P5,000 to P8,000 worth of cash and subsidy to 18 million low income households through the nationwide distribution system of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

“Let us act faster than the spread of this disease. Further delays in our committed support could spell life or death to our people at the frontlines. Let us act with more urgency as required in a health crisis, while ensuring everyone’s safety and the judicious spending of our people’s budget,” Legarda said.

The Bayanihan Act provides a special risk allowance on top of hazard pay, as well as shoulders all medical costs for those who were exposed to the virus.

The law will also provide P100,000 to public and private health workers who contract the disease and P1 million to the families of health workers who died in line of duty.

Legarda said that the law expedites the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE), testing kits, and other medical supplies and tools; and the accreditation for COVID-19 testing by public and private medical institutions.

It also authorizes local government units (LGUs) to use more than 5 percent of the amount allocated for their calamity fund.

The law also allows the discontinuation of programs, activities, or projects of the Executive Branch for the 2019 and 2020 national budget and to utilize the savings for the COVID-19 emergency.