Senate President Tito Sotto announced on Friday the possible extension of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (RA 11469) to aid the executive branch if the plan in giving a second tranche of the emergency cash assistance even in areas under the general community quarantine pushes through. 

“We will help in any way although as far as power to realign funds, [it] was already incorporated in RA 11469. Perhaps what we would need to do is extend the validity of the law,” according to Sotto.

However, he doesn’t have an idea yet on the timeline of the extension of the law.

The proposal was made by Sotto after Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed that Duterte mandated Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado to look for funding for a possible cash aid to qualified beneficiaries in areas under GCQ.

The Bayanihan to Heal as One Act was enacted into law by Congress in an overnight session on March 23, giving President Rodrigo Duterte the power to realign the national budget for COVID-19 response. The law is effective for three months. 

The law provides P5,000 to P8,000 cash subsidy to 18 million low-income families nationwide for two months.

However, the government has clarified that the second tranche of the cash assistance will be distributed only to families under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).  (RJ Espartinez)