Sotto: Extend Bayanihan 2 instead of passing Bayanihan 3

June 14, 2021 08:11 PM

Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III said that the Senate is not prioritizing the passage of Bayanihan 3 or the Bayanihan to Arise as One Act.

"Why do we think it is better to extend? Out of the 70% allocated funds for Bayanihan 2, only 50% has been distributed."

Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III told reporters on Monday that the upper chamber might opt to extend the validity of Bayanihan 2 or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, instead of passing a third Bayanihan measure. 

The complete rollout of Bayanihan 2 has not been accomplished yet, even with the extension of its validity until June 30, 2021. The measure was originally set to expire in December last year. 

"I think we will elect to extend Bayanihan 2 to December 2021 instead of expiring in June," the Senate chief stated.

Sotto said the Senate aims to extend the measure once again, with Senator Francis Pangilinan's Senate Bill 2218 which seeks to prolong Bayanihan 2's validity until December 31, 2021. The matter will be tackled by the upper house once they resume session on July 26. 

"Why do we think it is better to extend? Out of the 70% allocated funds for Bayanihan 2, only 50% has been distributed." 

"The Senate thinks we should complete Bayanihan 2 first before going to Bayanihan 3 which is more or less focused on aid," Sotto continued. 

"Gerrymandering" in the House
Another issue Sotto intends to settle is the reported "gerrymandering" in the House of Representatives' version of Bayanihan 3. An additional ₱54.6-billion was allocated for the pension fund of uniformed personnel. 

"That’s the problem that we have to tackle also. There are also some senators saying it is gerrymandering. We cannot include another topic. Constitution says there always should be one topic for every law," Sotto affirmed.

The third Bayanihan, called Bayanihan to Arise as One Act, amounts to a total of  ₱401 billion. It aims to continue assisting Filipino people throughout the COVID pandemic. Cash aid for each individual (of any age or social status) equal to ₱2,000 is allocated in the bill, which comprises ₱216 billion of its sum.  




Senate President Vicente Tito Sotto III 18th Congress of the Philippines Senate of the Philippines COVID-19 Philippines COVID Philippines Bayanihan 2 Bayanihan 3