Senators see 'no necessity' to discuss 3rd COVID-19 emergency law: Sotto

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 13 2021 12:57 PM | Updated as of Jan 13 2021 02:17 PM

MANILA - Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Wednesday said the Senate is not inclined to pass a third COVID-19 aid package since the validity of the Bayanihan to Recover As One Act (Bayanihan 2) has been extended until next year.

Senators are "not discussing" a third "Bayanihan" law, Sotto said during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay online forum.

"There is no necessity because we extended Bayanihan 2," he said.

"Bayanihan 2 is still in progress. I think they are doing well [in its disbursement], they are doing fine," he said.

Last year, the Senate approved on final reading the extension of the validity of the Bayanihan to Recover As One Act (Bayanihan 2) by 6 months or until June 30, 2021 to ensure that agencies could still utilize unspent funds under the measure. 

It was the second emergency law passed to ensure distribution of critical aid amid the COVID-19 pandemic, following the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act.

As of November 30, the government has yet to spend about P38 billion under Bayanihan 2, Sen. Sonny Angara earlier said.

Congress also extended the validity of the 2020 budget until the end of 2021 as billions in funds remained unused when the spending plan expired on December 31, 2020.

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