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Sunday, September 25, 2022

POLITIXXX ONLINE INTELLIGENCER: Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2)

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Emil Samaniego
Emil Samaniego is Chief Content Officer and one of the founders of Politixxx Today.
The Bayanihan to Recover As One (Bayanihan 2) is a second set of stimulus package that sets to replace the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act which expired in June. It aims to cushion the negative impact of covid-19 to the economy. 

Last July, the Senate approved a Bayanihan 2 bill with 140-billion budget on third and final reading to replace. On Aug 05, the House of Representatives approved its version with 162-billion budget.

ONLINE SENTIMENTS:
Data from Social Searcher, a social media sentiment analysis tool, reveals that there are more positive
online mentions of Bayanihan 2 in relation to economy at 32% than negative mentions at 11%, while majority of the online buzzes are neutral at 57%.
KEY DEBATES:
– Amidst the 16
.5 percent year-on-year GDP contraction on the second quarter, businessmen and economists are calling for greater stimulus package.

– Some critics expressed concerns that the funds provided under the proposed law are insufficient to respond to economic problems caused by covid-19.

– Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, however, urged prudence in public spending in case of a protracted pandemic. This is consistent with the government’s priority of maintaining conservative borrowing status in order not to harm the government’s investment rating.

– Dominguez downplayed critics by noting that the P140 to P165-billion stimulus package under Bayanihan 2 will be complimented by the record P4.5-trillion national budget for 2021, the P1.3-trillion fiscal stimulus program under the proposed Accelerated Recovery and Investments Stimulus for the Economy (ARISE) bill and the passage of the pending Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (Create) bill, which will slash corporate income tax from 30 percent.


KEY INSIGHTS:
– American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AmCham) senior advisor John Forbes said the government should implement the Bayanihan 2 funds this year and front load the increased budget in 2021.

– Congressman Zarate of Bayan Muna opined that Bayanihan 2 does not provide budget for mass testing and effective contact tracing strategy to fight Covid-19.

– A netizen (@zryanverse) suggested that Bayanihan 2 should have provision that penalizes eviction and discrimination due to Covid-19.

WHAT’S NEXT:
It is expected that the House of Representatives will approve its third and final reading its version of Bayanihan 2 this week.
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