I am filled with gratitude for the passage of the proposed Bayanihan to Arise As One Act, or Bayanihan 3, in the House of Representatives after my colleagues set aside politics and crossed party lines to unite for a common goal of providing much-needed help to our fellow Filipinos facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The approval of Bayanihan 3 is historical moment in the legislative process in this chamber as this measure has been co-authored by almost all of its members. For this, I profusely thank each House member for sharing my aspiration and that of Marikina Representative Stella Quimbo’s of providing fresh assistance to our people who need it badly in this time of difficulty.
This P401-billion lifeline measure outlines additional interventions to ensure that our kababayans are provided direct emergency and social amelioration, have sustainable sources of income, and have stable access to affordable food and quality health services despite the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.
The centerpiece of this proposed legislation is the P216-billion funding for two rounds of cash aid worth P2,000 to be given to each of the 108 million Filipinos regardless of age and economic status. The bill also contains allocations for wage subsidies, emergency assistance to quarantine-affected households, assistance to displaced workers, national nutrition, financial assistance to agri-fishery sector and cooperatives, medical assistance to indigents, local government support, free COVID-testing for seafarers and other overseas Filipino workers, pension and gratuity fund for retired military and uniformed personnel, and support to basic and higher education.
We firmly believe that Filipinos deserve all these interventions—urgently and immediately. Bayanihan 3 offers a real lifeline for our countrymen struggling to navigate the challenges of COVID-19. PR