By: Elena Grace Flores
YouTube video by INQUIRER.net
Zubiri, Marcos cold to Senate adopting House-OKd budget
Senator Imee Marcos No-Show at the Congress’ Special Session
Senator Imee R. Marcos’ physician advises her not to attend the Senate special session due to cough. This is to debate on and pass the proposed Bayanihan Act of 2020 authorizing the President to use unspent government finances. The aim is to resolve the negative effects of the coronavirus crisis. Earlier, she calls on the government not to be stingy on the provisions to the people who have no work no pay status. She is also thinking ahead on drawing resources to rebuild the economy after the coronavirus aftermath.
Go All Heart, All Out
The Senator said that the government should go “all heart, all-out” in funding the fight against COVID-19. She calls an emergency budget to be taken up in a special session of Congress. This is the most crucial investment in our country’s future, She said. Marcos, who chairs the Senate committee on economic affairs, has drawn up an emergency package of almost 750 billion pesos called Pag-ASA: Alaga, Sustento at Pag-Angat. This seeks immediate and sustained protection of health workers, provision of food and cash aid for marginalized communities, and stimulus packages to badly hit industries employing millions of workers.
The Economic Pitch of the Senator
Marcos plans to pitch the Pag-ASA emergency package in a Senate bill. This is due to her fear of public panic in the coming months if the government’s proposed emergency budget of only P200 billion is approved. Possible sources of the first P300 billion of the Pag-ASA emergency package can be squeezed from funds left over from the 2019 budget.
These are from calamity funds in the 2020 budget; intelligence and social funds of the Office of the President; PhilHealth’s emergency reserve fund; and contingency funds from various departments. Namely; education, agriculture, labor and employment, social welfare and development, and public works and highways, Marcos said.