The House of Representatives is planning to have a special session to tackle the proposed Bayanihan Act 2 which aims to extend specific measures to address the effects of global pandemic in the country. This includes the government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP).
“We’re expecting to have a special session soon. Hopefully next week or the week after, depending on the schedule from the Palace. But we’re working hard – the DOF (Department of Finance) is working with Congress,” Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano revealed to reporters in an ambush interview.
P140 billion to P200 billion is set to be allocated under Bayanihan 2. The speaker also clarified that the proposed stimulus strategy, amounting to P1.3 trillion, will have a separate allocation.
“Now we must take the hard lessons we have learned in the past months and apply it in the testing, tracing and treatment of patients in order to escape the threat of a more devastating second wave,” he explained.
Senators also expressed their support for passing a replacement for the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, but asked Malacañang to hold some preliminary meetings with lawmakers to come up with a final bill that will be acceptable to both Congress and the executive branch.
“We would only like to request that the executive department, particularly the finance team, know what they want and coordinate with both houses to come up with a doable compromise so they won’t waste the President’s time and effort in calling a special session,” Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri explained.