House to probe unreleased half of P140B Bayanihan 2 funds

House to probe unreleased half of P140B Bayanihan 2 funds

A HOUSE resolution has been filed seeking to look into almost half of the ₱140-billion funds that remain unreleased under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2.

More than 30 lawmakers filed House Resolution 1558 calling on the House Committee on Public Accounts to probe in aid of legislation on the “unreleased and unutilized appropriations” on Bayanihan 2 by the Department of Budget and Management.

“The economy cannot afford slow implementation of government relief programs that have already been approved and authorized, especially as the World Bank and other international institutions warn that the country will recover more slowly than its peers in the East Asia and the Pacific Region,” the resolution read which was released on Tuesday.

Bayanihan 2 authorized a total of ₱165.5 billion in emergency relief and spending to finance the country’s pandemic response and recovery, with ₱140 billion falling under regular appropriations and ₱25.5 billion serving as standby funds.

AAMBIS-OWA Party-list Representative Sharon Garin, a member of the bicameral conference committee on Bayanihan 2, raised concern on the delayed disbursement of the funds.

In a statement, Garin said that with 4.5 million working Filipinos at risk of losing their jobs, the inquiry would shed light on possible solutions to address this danger and the country’s dismal economic performance.

She added that only ₱76.2 billion of the ₱140-billion fund has been released.

“The pandemic is now only a month shy from reaching its first year and the country still reeling from the impact of an economic nosedive. If we don’t act on this, the economic revival we all hope for will not materialize,” she the solon.

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