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Velasco pushes for ‘Bayanihan 3’

Speaker Lord Allan Velasco yesterday said a third economic stimulus package would provide the “much-needed lifeline” for impacted households and businesses amid the upsurge in Covid-19 cases in the country.

Velasco said another round of economic stimulus package worth P420 billion under his proposed “Bayanihan to Arise As One Act” (Bayanihan 3) is necessary as more areas were placed under localized lockdowns and some businesses were again forced to shut down due to the upward trend in the number of new cases, especially in the National Capital Region.

“There are a lot of Filipinos who are suffering financially and are in dire need of help now,” Velasco said. “A third economic stimulus package will provide a much-needed lifeline to individuals, families, and businesses severely affected by the pandemic.”

It proposes to allocate P108 billion for additional social amelioration to impacted households, P100 billion for capacity-building for impacted sectors, P52 billion for wage subsidies, P70 billion for capacity-building for agricultural producers, P30 billion for internet allowances to students and teachers, P30 billion for assistance to displaced workers, P25 billion for Covid-19 treatment and vaccines, and P5 billion for the rehabilitation of areas impacted by recent floods and typhoons.

Under the measure, each household member will receive P1,000 regardless of their economic status. On top of this, a P1,000 allowance will be provided to each student and teacher and P8,000 for every displaced worker.

Velasco said he got an assurance from Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III that efforts are being made to identify funding sources for the Bayanihan 3.

“It’s a matter of finding revenues to be able to fund those programs. Secretary Dominguez did not actually shoot down Bayanihan 3,” Velasco said.

Velasco said a third stimulus package is necessary in the wake of a Philippine Statistics Authority report that around 4 million adult Filipinos, representing 8.7 percent of the labor force, lost their jobs in the first month of the year even as the economy further reopens.*PNA

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