Congress urged to look into unreleased Bayanihan 2 funds

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More than 30 lawmakers in the lower chamber filed a resolution pushing for an investigation into almost half of the ₱140-billion funds that are still unreleased under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2.

House Resolution 1558 called on the House Committee on Public Accounts to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation on the “unreleased and unutilized appropriations” on Bayanihan 2 by the Department of Budget and Management.

“The economy cannot afford slow implementation of government relief programs that have already been approved and authorized,” the resolution said.

Bayanihan 2 alloted a total of ₱165.5 billion for emergency relief and spending to fund the country’s pandemic response and recovery, with ₱140 billion falling under regular appropriations and ₱25.5 billion serving as standby funds.

AAMBIS-OWA Party-list Representative Sharon Garin in particular raised concern on the delayed disbursement of the funds.

“If we don’t act on this, the economic revival we all hope for will not materialize,” she said.

Earlier this year, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act 11519, an act extending the validity of appropriations under the Bayanihan 2 until June 30, 2021.

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