At least 37 lawmakers in the House of Representatives are calling for an investigation on how the national government used the P140 billion allotted by Congress for COVID-19 response.
House Resolution 1558 calls on the House committee on public accounts to conduct an inquiry on the release and utilization of appropriations authorized under Republic Act No. 11494, otherwise known as the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act.
Based on a report from the Office of the President last November 2020, only P76.2 billion of the P140 billion appropriated under the Bayanihan 2 Law had been released.
Proponents of the congressional inquiry also noted that the P39.4 billion allocated for government financial institutions (GFIs) to help micro, small, and medium enterprises have yet to reach the intended beneficiaries.
“[T]he release and implementation of assistance authorized under Bayanihan 2 remains crucial and urgent as the effects of COVID-19 on employment, hunger, poverty and business persist,” the lawmakers said.
Congress has extended the availability of funds under Bayanihan 2 until June 30, 2021.
Among the lawmakers calling for ana investigation include Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, AAMBIS-OWA party-list Rep. Sharon Garin.