VICE-PRESIDENT Maria Leonor G. Robredo expressed her support for the P1.3-trillion stimulus package, saying that such intervention is needed to help hard-hit sectors recover from the pandemic and ensuing economic crisis.
Ms. Robredo, in particular, said aid is urgently needed by micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) which account for 90% of all businesses in the Philippines. The industry is expected to receive P10 billion under the Accelerated Recovery and Investments Stimulus for the Economy bill.
“It is imperative that we help them recover from the losses of the pandemic so that the economy may fully be restarted,” Ms. Robredo said in recommendations submitted to the Inter-Agency Task Force.
The stimulus package will also allocate P110 billion for wage subsidies, P30 billion for cash-for-work programs, and P58 billion for the tourism sector. The measure, under House Bill No. 6815, has secured final approval in the chamber.
Ms. Robredo’s recommendations from June 30 were made public in response to comments from Palace that while the proposals were welcome, they were “nothing new.”
“Let the public judge the substance and timeliness of these suggestions, which were crafted with the assistance of and upon consultation with multiple policy experts, members of the academe, and medical professionals,” Ibarra H. Gutierrez III, the Vice-President’s spokesperson, said in a statement Monday.
Ms. Robredo proposed that the government should implement a more flexible loan scheme for MSMEs and rehabilitate transportation infrastructure projects to ensure minimal disruption to supply chains.
She also recommended the continued operation of jeepneys subject to health and social distancing measures as well as adjusting education policies by area when classes open in August.
Ms. Robredo proposed to introduce measures that will improve transparency regarding the government’s response to the pandemic, thereby increasing the public’s trust and compliance.
“Our experience has shown that the Filipino people can be depended upon to cooperate to their utmost — as long as the rationale of policies is communicated effectively, together with clear guidelines,” she said.
She said Malacañang’s weekly reporting requirement on measures taken under the Bayanihan law should be continued despite the expiration of the law.
She also said the Development Budget Coordination Committee should release in detail the status of the government’s cash position and expenses of each province, city or municipality. She also proposed that an online monitoring portal be put in place for loans and donations. — Charmaine A. Tadalan