Press Release
March 31, 2020

Statement of Senator Joel Villanueva on the
March 30 report re Bayanihan Law

We appreciate the efforts of our government in utilizing the resources it has been given to address the effects of COVID-19. Our legislature responded to the call of the times through the Bayanihan law.

One of the pressing concerns we have is the distribution of the emergency subsidy worth P5,000 to P8,000 which will help our workers in the no work, no pay sector, and workers in the informal economy, and their respective families, among other sectors. While our executive has assured us that the list of beneficiaries will be streamlined, we suggest that our government place the final list of beneficiaries, including names and their barangays, in a website which will serve as a transparency mechanism and a convenient form of accounting for the public.

We're glad to hear that the purchase of PPEs are already underway. But let us not also forget that our hospitals in NCR and in the provinces need ventilators for them to help patients. Our government should expedite the procurement of ventilators as well.

We urge our Department of Agriculture to be more aggressive in engaging small farmers and fisherfolk by purchasing their produce directly from them. Not only will the direct purchase provide them the means to sustain their families, it will also allow them to continue their ways of life and providing sustenance to all of us.

The Report to Congress outlines the various guidelines issued by different agencies covering their respective sectors, and a snapshot of actual figures of the government response. In the succeeding weeks, we hope to see a clearer picture on how the response is actually operationalized.

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