By: Manila Times
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is upbeat that the proposed Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2) would aid in the country’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, which it sees taking a “U-turn.”
In a statement, Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua told an August 21 webinar that the measure “will help the country bounce back from the crisis with its improved provisions on the healthcare system, public transport, and restoring consumer demand.”
According to him, Bayanihan 2 is one of three areas making up the government’s four-pillar response strategy, the other two being the Build, Build, Build infrastructure program and the the P4.5-trillion 2021 national budget.
Under the first two pillars, P655 billion have been allocated to help people cope with the crisis and improve the country’s healthcare system. The amount includes ramped-up spending to protect some 18 million low-income households and 3.1 million workers of small businesses.
“We are starting to see a U-turn in the trajectory of economic activity and manufacturing production,” he said. “While we are not yet in the positive territory, we are hoping that we can continue to manage this recovery as best as we can.”
Ratified by the Senate on August 20 and by the House of Representatives on Monday, Bayanihan 2 provides a P165-billion stimulus package aimed at further helping the government respond to the pandemic and its impact, as well as boost economic recovery. The package consists of P140 billion in regular appropriations and P25 billion in “standby” funds.
The bill, an extension of the now-expired Republic Act 11469, or the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act,” will be transmitted to Malacañang for President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature.
The government will also provide equity support to distressed firms deemed strategic and allow banks to dispose of bad loans and assets so they can serve more businesses, Chua said.
It is also focusing on enhancing the productivity of the agriculture sector, which will play a crucial role in the recovery, he added.
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