MANILA, Philippines – The Senate on Tuesday approved on third and final reading the proposed Bayanihan to Recover as One (Bayanihan 2) bill which seeks to extend the powers granted to the Duterte administration to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
Twenty-two senators voted to pass the measure while Senator Francis Pangilinan was the lone dissenter.
The upper chamber passed the bill a day after President Rodrigo Duterte appealed to legislators to expedite its passage during his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA).
Under the Bayanihan 2 bill, the allocation of a P140-billion standby fund is proposed to help sectors and industries heavily-hit by the pandemic. It also seeks to provide funds for the procurement of additional COVID-19 testing equipment as well as the implementation of assistance programs for displaced workers, low-income households and other sectors. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)