With a vote of 22-1, Senate approved SB No. 1564 on its final reading. The bill referred to as Bayanihan 2, also known as Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, sought to allow the government to spend P140 billion standby funds, which will be used to support COVID-19 projects.

President Rodrigo Duterte urged Congress to pass Bayanihan 2 during his State of the Nation Address on July 27, just a day before.

 

Final and Approved

  • P10 billion – procurement of PCR test and extraction kits and medical supplies needed for mass testing and for the enhancement of capacities of the DOH in the provision of healthcare services and the implementation of programs and projects to eliminate, prevent and control diseases.
  • P15 billion – implementation of the cash-for-work program, TUPAD program, temporary employment for COVID-19 response and emergency subsidy to workers in critically-impacted sectors and industries;
  • P17 billion – support for various programs and projects for public and private health workers, displaced employees and workers from formal and informal economy, etc.
  • P50 billion – capital infusion to GFIs: 
    • P5 billion for Philippine Guarantee Corporation
    • P30 billion to the Land Bank of the Philippines
    • P15 billion to the Development Bank of the Philippines
  • P17 billion – for direct cash subsidy and zero-interest loans under the Agricultural Credit Policy Council and government financial institutions, and other forms of assistance to qualified agri-fishery enterprises and farmers and fisherfolk registered under the Registry

System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) and to finance the Plant, Plant, Plant Program to ensure food security and continuous productivity in the agricultural sector;

  • P17 billion – P17 billion – for DOTr’s assistance to the transportation industry through service contracting of public utility vehicles and development of accessible sidewalks and protected bicycle lanes. The procurement of bicycles and  related safety equipment for bicycle distribution, sharing, and lending programs, and procurement of bicycle racks will also be included;
  • P3 billion – assistance to State Universities and Colleges to develop smart campuses and invest in information technology and communication infrastructure.
  • P1 billion – Technical Education and Skills Development Authority scholarship for retooling, retraining, and upskilling displaced workers and OFWs;

 

Provisions

  • The emergency subsidy that will be provided to around eighteen (18) million low-income households under ECQ will amount 5,000 – 8,000 PHP per month for the two months. The subsidy will be computed based on the prevailing regional minimum wage rates. 
  • Public and private health workers who have contracted or who may contract severe COVID-19 Infection while in the line of duty will have a compensation of P100,000. Those who have died or may die while fighting the COVID-19 pandemic will receive a P1,000,000 as well. This provision will have a retroactive application from February 1, 2020. 
    • Qualified students who are neither part of the Listahan of DSWD nor covered under the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) shall receive a tuition subsidy of P8,000. Geographic prioritization of areas where there are no SUCs and LUCs shall be suspended to make qualified students under this subsection eligible. 
    • Qualified students in private elementary and junior high school, and senior high school who are not receiving assistance under the Education Service Contracting (ECS) or SHS Voucher Program will receive a tuition subsidy amounting to P3,000.
    • The education subsidies granted will be released directly to the Private Tertiary Education Institutions or Private Basic Education School to apply the subsidy for unpaid tuition in School Year 2019-2020 or for payment of tuition fee for School Year 2020-2021. 
    • One-time cash assistance will be provided to affected and displaced non-teaching personnel, including, part-time faculty in Private Basic education Schools and Tertiary Education Institutions, and Part-time faculty in SUCs. The cash assistance will be computed based on the prevailing regional minimum wage rates. 
    • The government will direct the appropriate Government Financial Institutions (GFIs) to develop a loan program for institutions of learning that have been affected by the decrease in enrollment or to enable them to prepare and implement blended learning. The availability of such loans will be conditioned on the non-implementation of an increase in tuition and other fees for the next academic year. 
    • LGUs will be authorized to utilize more than 5% of the amount allocated to their calamity fund subject to additional funding and support from the National Government. 
  • Under the Republic Act No. 101211, disaster preparedness, response, and recovery were decentralized to LGUs. The law mandates LGUs to set aside no less than 5% of all its revenues from regular sources to create its calamity fund. LGUs are also required to spend 70% of this fund for pre-disaster, prevention and mitigation activities. The remaining 30% of the fund is allocated for the Quick Response Fund. The calamity, however, is mainly used for immediate relief to disaster victims.
    • SB 1564 mentioned the continued enforcement of measures against hoarding, profiteering, injurious speculations, manipulation of prices, product deceptions, and other trade constraints for prime necessities. But the penalty clause for the said acts was removed (from the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act). 
    • The government state will ensure that the donation, acceptance, and distribution of health products intended to address the COVID-19 pandemic will not be ‘unnecessarily’ delayed and will ensure that health products for donation are duly certified if needed. 
  • The government will undertake the procurement of the following as the need arises, in the most expeditious manner, as exemptions from the provisions of RA 9184 or Government procurement Reform Act and other relevant laws:
      • Personal Protective Equipment
      • Goods and Services for Social Amelioration
      • Lease of real property or venue
      • Establishment, construction, and operation of temporary medical facilities;
      • Utilities, telecommunications, and other critical services concerning operations of COVID-19 facilities
      • Ancillary services
  • The Philippine Red Cross is designated as the primary agency in the distribution of goods and services. The aid which will be provided is subject to reimbursement. 
  • The government will ensure the availability of credit to the productive sectors of the economy especially in the countryside through measures such as lowering the effective lending rates of interest and reserve requirements of lending institutions. 
    • The credit accommodation of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), as well as self-employed, shall be imposed a low interest, payable within three (3) years, and shall not require any collateral in the loan that does not exceed P3,000,000. 
    • Loans extended to corporations or enterprises in various sectors, which are not MSMEs, will be concessional and payable within 3 to 6 years. 
  • The government will direct the Small business Corporation (SBC) to expand its existing loan programs for MSMEs to expand the reach and increase access and set fast turn-around loan processing time and allow the use of the loan proceeds for various financial activities to adjust the business process for resiliency. 
  • The government will direct Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines to introduce a low-interest loan program available to non-essential businesses to assist and encourage them to continue investing in their business. This will prioritize agri-fishery business and non-essential businesses that are small and medium enterprises, including start-ups. 
  • The government will direct the Philippine Guarantee Corporation (PhilGarantee) to issue an expanded government guarantee program for non-essential business, to ease current rules and regulations and give preference to critically-impacted businesses, MSMEs, and activities that support DOH initiatives towards ensuring an adequate and responsive supply of health care services, and to guarantee the loan portfolio of partner financial institutions of eligible MSME loans. 

 

Where will the funds come from?

According to Section 5 of Bayanihan 2, the cash subsidy and stimulus needed for this measure will be funded from the following:

  • General Appropriations Act (GAA) or the annual expenditure program of the national government and all of its instrumentalities for the year 2020.  The fund will be sourced primarily from the unprogrammed funds and savings realized from modified, realigned, or reprogrammed allocations for the operational expense of any government agency or instrumentality under the Executive Department.
  • Savings pooled such as mentioned on the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act; discontinuance of appropriated programs, projects or activities of any agency of the Executive Department; All unspent, unutilized or unreleased money or funds sourced from collections or receipts, including future collections and receipts; all reprogrammed, reallocated or realigned amounts within the effectivity of the bill; and cash, funds, investments held by any GOCC or any national government agency allocated by the President.
  • Excess revenue collections in any one of the identified tax or non-tax revenue sources from its corresponding revenue collection target, as provided in the FY 2020 Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Financing (BESF);
  • New revenue collections or those arising from new tax or non-tax sources which are not part of nor included in the sources included in the FY 2020 BESF;
  • Proceeds from loans and other foreign borrowings;
  • All amounts derived from the cash, funds, and investments held by any Government-Owned or -Controlled Corporation or any national government agency;
  • Amounts derived from the franchise tax on all gaming receipts or the agreed pre-determined minimum monthly revenues from Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs).
  • Income tax, VAT, and other applicable taxes on income from non-gaming operations earned by POGOs.

After two years or upon a determination that the pandemic has been successfully contained, the revenues derived from POGOs shall accumulate to the General Fund of the Government. In the last paragraph of Section 5,  it states that “the BIR shall implement closure orders against offshore gaming licensees, operators, agents, service providers, and support providers who fail to pay the taxes due, and such entities shall cease to operate.” 

The lone vote against the said measure was from Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan.

 

 

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