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LRay: House to give final OK to Bayanihan 2 on Monday

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The House of Representatives is set to approve on third and final reading on Monday the proposed Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, which is on target to become law by September, Deputy Speaker LRay Villafuerte said.

The leadership under Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano expects House Bill 6953 or the Bayanihan 2 Act, to breeze through final approval after the leaders of the different political parties and party list groups in the chamber signed a manifesto of unity committing its plenary passage at the soonest time possible, said Villafuerte, sponsor and lead author of the bill.

Bayanihan 2 “will give continued special powers to the President to beat the pandemic, which, according to the WHO (World Health Organization), has reached a ‘dangerous’ stage of accelerated spread as governments across the world start relaxing mobility restrictions and reopening their economies,” he said when he sponsored the bill on the floor last Aug. 5.

The Camarines Sur lawmaker also co-chairs the social amelioration cluster of the House’s defeat Covid-19 ad hoc committee (DCC) chaired by Cayetano and co-chaired by House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez.

HB 6953 provides for P162 billion in funding for the government’s COVID-19 response measures, including some P10.5 billion to enable the hiring of additional healthcare workers, and provide additional allowances and benefits to medical frontliners, Villafuerte noted.

The Senate has already approved its version of the Bayanihan 2 with a smaller budget of P140 billion.

Villafuerte said the bicameral panel on the bill will be scheduled immediately to reconcile the different versions of the House and Senate.

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