NEDA: No need for Bayanihan 3

NEDA_Karl Kendrick Chua | Juan Manila


MANILA Socio-economic planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua declares there is no more need for Congress to pass a third stimulus package when other measures meant to drive economic recovery are to be fully implemented.

“’Yung Bayanihan III sa tingin ko, hindi na kailangan kung buksan na natin ang ekonomiya. And pinaka-epektibo at cost-effective na paraan para ibalik ang consumer confidence ay ’yung pagbukas ng ekonomiya nakita natin sa datos (I think Bayanihan III is no longer needed if we will further reopen the economy, which is the most efficient and cost-effective way to boost consumer confidence),” Chua says.

He explains that funds from the Bayanihan II were not even spent and the FIST (Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer) and CREATE (Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises) still have to be implemented.

On Friday, 19 February, House Speaker Lord Allan Jay Q. Velasco announced that the House of Representatives is “prepared to pass” House Bill No. 8628 or Bayanihan to Arise as One Act (Bayanihan III), which allocates 420 billion for programs such as cash handouts, wage subsidies, and financial assistance to hard-hit sectors.

But it can be noted that the validity of Republic Act (RA) No. 11494 or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan II), which provides 165.5 billion for pandemic response measures, was extended until end-2021 after there were delays in disbursement and program rollout.

Meanwhile, the newly-signed RA No. 11523 or the FIST Act, which covers the establishment of asset management companies that will absorb the bad loans from banks, has not yet been implemented as rules and regulations are still being drafted.

Also the proposed Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Law will slash corporate income tax and streamline fiscal perks is still awaiting President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature after its ratification on 3 February.

Chua says in a radio interview on Friday that another stimulus measure such as Bayanihan III is no longer needed if the country’s lockdown will be further eased, allowing the economy to recover faster. (JSM/JuanManila)

Featured image: National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) chief Karl Kendrick T. Chua

Bayanihan 2 to step up ‘needed and timely’ COVID-19 response — Andanar

In a press statement, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said that the proposed Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2) would allow the government to step up its fight against COVID-19, adding that the “needed and timely” pandemic response can be further realized, once it is passed into law.

“Now needing only President (Rodrigo) Duterte’s signature to become a law, it will ensure that the needed and timely responses and actions undertaken by the government in our fight against COVID-19 will continue and will be further enhanced, through the needed response fund,” said Andanar.

Four days after the House of Representatives approved a similar measure, the Senate on August 20 ratified the reconciled Bayanihan 2 bill which authorizes Duterte to realign funds for the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill also provides for a stimulus plan worth P165.5 billion to help struggling sectors cope with the impact of the viral disease.

“The implementation of our stimulus packages and recovery plans for struggling sectors, especially our micro, small, and medium enterprises [or] MSMEs, tourism, transport, and agriculture sectors, to help our society cope with the impacts of COVID-19 will now be set in motion,” he added, noting that the country is now “truly on track to heal and recover as one nation.”