Cayetano wants House inquiry on Bayanihan 1, 2 fund use

MANILA (AdChoiceTV News) — Former Speaker and Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano is seeking an investigation into how the first two Bayanihan measures, which sought to cushion the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, were implemented and used.

Cayetano said he, along with the Balik sa Tamang Serbisyo sa Kongreso bloc in the House, would file a resolution on the matter.

“Basically, we want to inquire into Bayanihan 1 and 2 and use that inquiry in the discussion [on] Bayanihan 3,” Cayetano said in a press briefing.

He said that the good in Bayanihan 1, 2 must be in Bayanihan 3. The bad must be corrected and the government must account for any funds that are not released.

Cayetano cited the Education Department (DepEd), which was allocated P4 billion to buy 10,000 tablets and laptops.

“Remember we passed Bayanihan 2 in August [2020]… eight months na, ni isang paracetamol na tablet—di na Samsung o di na Apple o kung anumang brand ng tablet—wala pa kong nakikitang lumalabas sa DepEd,” Cayetano said.

(…I haven’t found a single paracetamol tablet — neither Samsung, Apple or any other tablet — I haven’t seen anything come out of DepEd.)

Under the Bayanihan 1, or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, the government realigned P275 billion from the 2020 national budget to the administration’s pandemic response; P165.5 billion was allocated to Bayanihan 2, or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act.

Meanwhile, the proposed Bayanihan 3 remains pending in Congress.

In January this year, House appropriations committee chair Rep. Eric Yap said the lower chamber would look into the use of Bayanihan funds. However, no schedule has been set up to this date.

Reporting by Albert Rovic Tan

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