PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has been asked by a lawmaker at the House of Representatives to certify as urgent a measure providing a P420-billion economic stimulus.
Marikina City 2nd District Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo, author of the proposed “Bayanihan to Arise as One Act” (Bayanihan 3), said in a press conference on Wednesday that the economy has “turned for the worse” and there was need for Congress and the Executive “to work together” to recover.
Quimbo hopes that the Executive Department would consider recent events that prompted the need for Bayanihan 3, which are the 9.5 percent contraction of the economy, the worst since World War 2; and the rising prices of basic commodities.
Quimbo stressed the need for the government to infuse a substantial amount into the economy to prevent what she called a “stagflation” or a combination of stagnant economy and high inflation, which was recorded at 4.2 percent in January.
Quimbo, an economist, said that the 9.5 percent contraction translates to a total of P3.2 trillion loss in income for every Filipino. She stressed that the recent closures of businesses and job losses must prompt the grant of assistance to families, workers, farmers and small businesses.
The lawmaker also noted that without Bayanihan 1 and 2, the contraction would have been worse, saying that the P583 billion stimulus provided under the measures had contributed 2.7 percent in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
But Quimbo lamented the slow implementation of the P165 fund under Bayanihan 2. She said that if the fund was spent “effectively and quickly” it would have contributed P252 billion to the economy or an additional 1.3 percent to the GDP.
Quimbo said that the P165 billion stimulus under Bayanihan 2 is so small compared to the losses incurred in the economy. She added that pandemic response under the 2021 national budget was not enough.