House leader backs P420 billion stimulus fund

A congressional leader on Saturday backed the proposed P420-billion economic stimulus package under the Bayanihan 3 bill, saying the government needed to ramp up spending to boost the coronavirus-battered economy.

“The government should be spending more, not less, to grow the economy, and this is precisely what the Bayanihan 3 is designed for,” Deputy Speaker and Bagong Henerasyon Rep. Bernadette Herrera said.

Herrera is one of the co-authors of House Bill 8628 or the proposed Bayanihan to Arise As One Act filed by Speaker Lord Allan Velasco.

The bill proposes a P108 billion allocation 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 teachers and students; P30 billion for assistance to displaced workers; P25 billion for COVID-19 treatment and vaccines; and P5 billion for the rehabilitation of areas affected by recent floods and typhoons.

Herrera said the Bayanihan 3 would allow the government to pump-prime the economy by providing much-needed support to sectors severely affected by the pandemic.

“Amid the rising uncertainties and economic challenges, there is an urgent need to re-energize the engines of growth and pump-prime the economy,” the party-list lawmaker pointed out.

Earlier, Herrera said Velasco’s version of the Bayanihan 3 provided for “comprehensive and integrated strategy to help the economy recover faster from the devastating impacts of the pandemic.”

She said the proposed P420-billion fund for the implementation of much-needed COVID-19 response and recovery interventions are “grounded on economic inclusivity and collective growth.”

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