A House committee gave its nod Tuesday to a bill addressing unemployment resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic through a stimulus package.

House Bill 6709 or the proposed “Covid-19 Unemployment Reduction Economic Stimulus (Cures) Act of 2020 was approved by the Defeat Covid-19 Committee Social Amelioration Cluster, with a proposed P1.5-trillion budget to create sustainable employment and income-generating activities for the poor.

Deputy Speaker Luis Raymund “LRay” Villafuerte Jr. of Camarines Sur said: “The rationale of this bill is that all infrastructure projects should be shovel ready,” he added.

“Hindi na po pwede na gagawa tayo ng mga proyekto na aabutin ng mga isa o dalawang taon, dapat implementable ito within 60 to 90 days para diretso na pong mabigyan ang mga tao ng hanapbuhay. (It is not longer acceptable that we will come up with projects that will take one or two years to complete, it should be implementable within 60 to 90 days so we can readily give livelihood to the people.)”

House Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said the government’s infrastructure spending would facilitate economic recovery by increasing employment opportunities.

This will fuel demand for goods and services as a result of materials and equipment acquisition, and trigger additional consumer spending, he said,

CURES proposes infrastructure at the barangay level such as the improvement of municipal health centers, expansion of school buildings and technical vocational learning centers, and the establishment of digital education in public schools; construction or improvement of municipal provincial fish ports and trading hubs; and funding for roads and livelihood projects.

Technical Education and Skills Authority Deputy Director General Rosanna Urdaneta said the bill would boost the number and capacity of Technical-Vocational Education and Training centers. (Jojo Mangahis)