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