The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved on final reading the proposed third COVID-19 stimulus package or Bayanihan 3, outlining P401-billion worth of interventions aimed at further helping Filipinos recover from the pandemic.
With a vote of 238-0-1, the chamber approved House Bill 9411 or the proposed Bayanihan to Arise As One Act, which "offers a real lifeline for our countrymen struggling to navigate the challenges of COVID-19," according to Speaker Lord Allan Velasco.
Under the measure, a total of P216 billion will be provided to fund two rounds of cash aid worth P2,000 for each of the 108 million Filipinos, regardless of age or economic status.
It also provides a one-time cash subsidy of P5,000 to P10,000 for every affected household in areas under enhanced community quarantine.
Apart from the financial subsidy, Bayanihan 3 also provides assistance to other sectors affected by the pandemic, including:
- Assistance to displaced workers (P25 billion)
- Funding for national nutrition (P6 billion)
- Financial assistance to agri-fishery sector (P30 billion) and cooperatives (P2 billion)
- Medical assistance to indigents (P9 billion)
- Local government support (P3 billion)
- Free COVID-testing for seafarers and other OFWs (P500 million)
- Pension and gratuity fund for retired military and uniformed personnel (P54.6 billion)
- Support to basic education (P4 billion) and higher education (P500 million)
Bayanihan 3 will succeed the Bayanihan to Recover As One Act or Bayanihan 2 and the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act or Bayanihan 1--- which helped the government address the COVID-19 pandemic when it began in March 2020.
Sen. Francis Pangilinan is pushing for the extension of the funds under Bayanihan 2 until December 31, 2021 to fast-track the government's COVID-19 response.