Duterte expected to sign Bayanihan 2 into law until next week: Palace

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 07 2020 02:57 PM

Duterte expected to sign Bayanihan 2 into law until next week: Palace 1
President Rodrigo Duterte holds a meeting with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on June 15, 2020. Simeon Celi Jr., Presidential Photo/handout

MANILA-- President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to sign into law the proposed Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2) until next week, Malacañang said Monday as the government prepares to arm itself with more powers to salvage the economy from problems stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

The President is still consulting with different government agencies on the ratified version of the bill, his spokesperson Harry Roque told reporters.

"I don't think the first two weeks of September will pass without the bill being signed. I think they're aiming that the bill should be signed this week--next week at the latest," Roque said during a Palace press briefing.

The Bayanihan 2 bill is seen as a life vest for the economy as it includes a P140-billion aid package for industries hit by economic woes due to the pandemic, and a P25.52-billion standby fund that government may spend in the next 4 months before the 2021 budget takes effect.

The bill replaces the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act--the government's first pandemic response measure--which expired in June.

Just like the first Bayanihan law, the proposed Bayanihan 2 allows the President to realign funds for pandemic-related expenses.

The government earlier estimated that the country's economy could shrink to as much as 5.5 percent this year from an earlier estimate of 3.4 percent. 

The Philippines plunged into recession in the second quarter, after shrinking by 16.5 percent reflecting the full impact of the COVID-19 lockdowns.