BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – President Duterte has signed the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act” (R.A. 11469) which gives him additional powers to address the COVID-19 crisis in the Philippines, including the allocation of subsidies and funds for those most affected by the bill.
Bacolod Cong. Greg Gasataya told DNX that the finer points of the law — like allocation per city or town affected by COVID-19 — are still being finalized as of this writing
According to PTV News, “marginalized families with incomes affected by the Enhanced Community Quarantine shall be given a monthly allowance of PhP5,000 to PhP8,000 in a span of two months”.
Gasataya said the disbursement will start on April until May.
The law allows Duterte to “reprogram, reallocate, and realign any appropriation” in the 2020 budget to fight against COVID-19.
“Provisional aid shall be granted to frontliners such as PhP100, 000 for public health workers in the event of contracting COVID-19, and PhP1 Million shall be given to medical practitioners in case of death caused by COVID-19 in the course of their duties,” PTV4 added.
Under the law, Duterte is allowed to “oversee the operations in any private hospitals, and to oblige property-owners, banks, and other financial institutions to implement a 30-day grace period”, as well as “give directives to private medical facilities, hotels, and other establishments which can be used as quarantine facilities”.
One salient points of the law, now made available at the Official Gazette, calls for procurement of medical supplies ans equipment like masks, gloves, goggles, test kits, and others for distribution to various hospitals and health centers in the country.
The law also has a punitive section for, among, acts like profiteering, price manipulation and hoarding; LGUs that violate quarantine guidelines, or private institutions like hospitals and commercial vessels that refuse to cooperate with the directive.
The punishment is anywhere from imprisonment of two months, to fine of P10,000 to P1,000,000.