(Eagle News)–President Rodrigo Duterte has signed the Bayanihan To Recover as One Act.
With the President’s signing of the law, over P165 billion will be allotted for the country’s COVID-19 response.
According to Senator Sonny Angara, the measure ratified by the Senate allots a P140-billion budget in regular appropriations, and up to a P25.5 billion standby fund “if ever such amount is generated from savings and unused appropriations.”
The ratified measure also authorizes the President to exercise powers necessary to implement COVID-19 response and recovery interventions.
These include the accreditation of viral testing kits that diagnose COVID-19; hiring of skilled med techs, molecular biologists, epidemiologists and other skill lab technicians to conduct COVID-19 testing; providing emergency subsidies worth P5,000 to P8,000 to affected low-income households under “specific quarantine conditions and to households with recently-returned OFWs;” and providing unemployment or involuntary separation assistance worth P5,000 to P8,000 for displaced workers including seasonal, contractual, and casual workers in private hospitals; workers in tourism, culture and the arts, creative industries including film, audiovisual, and broadcast workers; construction; public transportation; trade industries; freelancers; self-employed; and repatriated OFWs.
There is also a provision for special risk allowances for public and private healthcare workers on top of the hazard pay.
The measure, Angara said, also provides for compensation to public and private healthcare workers who have contracted COVID-19—or P15,000 for mild or moderate cases; P100,000 for severe or critical; and P1 million in case of death.