Bicameral panel to continue discussions on proposed Bayanihan law 2 today

Senate adopts House provision for P10,000 special risk allowance for private health workers

(Eagle News)–The bicameral panel seeking to reconcile differences in the Senate and House of Representatives versions of the proposed Bayanihan Law 2 has adopted a provision that would provide a P10,000 COVID-19 special risk allowance also to private health workers.

But the panel has so far not come up yet with a reconciled version of the proposed law, which aims to provide assistance to sectors badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, but that were not included in the first Bayanihan law passed in March.

That means the P10,000 special risk allowance for private medical workers will have to wait as the reconciled version is needed for both houses of Congress to ratify the same, and submit it to President Rodrigo Duterte for his signature.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon had expressed hope the bicameral meeting would end on Thursday so the proposed law would be ratified by both houses of Congress on Monday next week.

But at present, Drilon said both the Senate and the House have still not come to terms on certain issues, including the P10 billion in loans  which senators were pushing to be used to help “tourism enterprises.”

Drilon said congressmen want the funds to be used for tourism infrastructure projects instead.

“Nagkakaisa po ang Senado. Kahapon sinabi ni (Senate President) Tito Sotto in open session na dapat ipilit ng Senado ang posisyon nila na ang mga tourism enterprises ang mga tulungan, hindi yung mga kalsada na gustong buoin ng HoR sa panahon ngayon,” Drilon said.

But Sotto remained  optimistic a ratification was still possible within the day.

“Tuloy ‘yun. Already mandated by my pronouncement… [We] will wait for the bicam report if necessary,” Sotto told reporters. With a report from Meanne Corvera, Eagle News