Finance chief says must work with lawmakers to find funds for Bayanihan 3

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 13 2021 05:53 PM

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Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez III said on Tuesday his agency must work with lawmakers to find funds for Bayanihan 3, the proposed third stimulus package to help the economy recover from the COVID-19 crisis, according to Malacañang. 

Palace spokesman Harry Roque relayed Dominguez's statement after he was asked in a press conference whether or not President Rodrigo had asked Congress to pass a third Bayanihan law.

"No," Roque said, quoting the Finance chief. 

"We told Congress that together we should identify sources of additional funds for Bayanihan 3 so our fiscal deficit will not exceed the estimates of 8.9 percent for 2021," Dominguez said in a statement that Roque read. 

Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda said the Philippines had "one of the lowest stimulus-to-GDP (rates) in the world" and that the country needs to ramp up spending to bring the economy back to life. 

Salceda, one of the lawmakers pushing for the P420-billion Bayanihan 3 stimulus package, said another spending bill was needed because Bayanihan To Recover As One Act (Bayanihan 2), which cost P165 billion, “was just too small.”

Sen. Franklin Drilon in February said he would first like to know how much of the funds under Bayanihan 2 had been spent and disbursed before drafting a third COVID-19 stimulus measure.