MANILA — Cash aid for workers will have less budget under the Bayanihan to Recover as One (Bayanihan 2) bill, which allows President Rodrigo Duterte to realign funds for the coronavirus crisis, a senator said Wednesday.
Sen. Imee. Marcos, who is tasked with reconciling the Senate and House versions of the Bayanihan 2, said she was "completely dismayed" that the P15 billion initially allocated for a “cash-for-work” was slashed to P5 billion.
"Talagang kakarampot 'to (this is too small). It’s not going to last a week. I’m absolutely terrified," she told ANC.
The bill also initially allocated P17 billion for the transportation department to assist workers and this was cut down to P6 billion, said Marcos.
The Bayanihan 2 had to accommodate the requests for help of various sectors, including agriculture, transportation, health workers, and students. The biggest chunk of funds, P50 billion, is allotted for government financial institutions, said the senator.
"Napakakuripot nitong budget na ito. Hirap na hirap kami… there’s so little to fight over because it’s simply impossible to accommodate everyone’s request,” Marcos told ANC.
(This budget is so stingy. We are finding it very difficult.
"Kung sinabi nila na ‘pag maikli ang kumot bumaluktot. 'Pag wala nang kumot, tumbling na po,” she added.
(They say that when the blanket is short, curl up. When there’s no longer any blanket, go tumbling.)
Marcos said she hoped the government can pour more resources to the coronavirus crisis by deleting travel expenses and postponing trainings.
“Hopefully today, I don’t know, may himala sabi nga ni Nora Aunor… at bagsakan tayo ng napakamaraming pera,” she said.
(There may be a miracle, like Nora Aunor said in her movie and a lot of money will fall down on us.)
“I understand where our finance people are coming from. They’re trying to impose prudent fiscal management, but on the other hand… ang hirap-hirap talagang pagkasyahin,” she added.
(It’s really difficult to make do with this amount.)