Sen. Risa Hontiveros is seeking the realignment of unused funds under the Bayanihan 2 Law to provide more ayuda to Filipinos during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hontiveros said much of the P165-billion pandemic response law, the second of its kind, remains unused ahead of its expiry on on June 30. When a law expires, unspent money alloted for it can no longer be used.
For instance, she said 70% of the P10-billion budget allocated under the Department of Trade and Industry CARES Program for working capital loans to micro, small and medium enterprises, including the tourism sector, remain untouched.
These unutilized loan appropriations equate to P7-billion worth of assistance which can benefit around 1.4 million Filipinos with P5,000 each, the senator added.
"Dapat i-realign ito at gamiting ayuda para sa mga kababayan nating kapos na kapos pa rin hanggang ngayon. Huwag nang buruhin ang pondo kung pwede namang ibigay na lang sa mga mas nangangailangan," Hontiveros said.
P2,000 Ayuda Sought for Every Filipino in Bayanihan 3 Bill
Sen. Francis Pangilinan on Monday filed a bill seeking further extension of the Bayanihan 2 funds until December 31, saying that it will fast-track the government's response to the pandemic.
The Bayanihan 2 Law includes a P50-billion funding for government financial institutions, allowing them to provide soft loans to affected sectors, and P13.5 billion for health-related response measures.