MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday sought for a speedy passage of the Bayanihan to Recover as One (Bayanihan 2) bill, which would allow him to realign funds for the coronavirus crisis and guarantee government aid for several sectors.
In his fifth State of the Nation Address, Duterte said he hopes Congress will act quickly on the bill, the same way it passed the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act that granted him additional powers to respond to the pandemic.
"I hope that we can get some or the same treatment of clarity, purpose and the fastness to support the passage of the Bayanihan [to Recover as One Act], which will supplement funds for recovery and response against the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic," Duterte told lawmakers in his penultimate SONA.
"We must facilitate the country’s economic recovery," he said.
The Senate failed to pass the Bayanihan 2 in June after the executive branch refused to certify the measure as urgent.
The Senate's version of the Bayanihan 2 repeals a provision of the first Bayanihan law that allows Duterte to take over hospitals and other private facilities during COVID-19 crisis.
It also removes the power of law enforcers to arrest or penalize individuals who violate quarantine policies.
The new measure is expected to authorize the government to spend P140 billion for "a basket of targeted aid to sectors severely impacted by the double whammy of a public health and economic crisis."