SEN. Ramon Bong Revilla, Jr. on Tuesday called on the Executive to consider expanding the beneficiaries of the government's COVID-19 Social Amelioration program. "Mukhang kailangan mas lawakan pa sa unang projection na 18 million families lang," he said.
This came after President Rodrigo Duterte’s instructions yesterday to the Secretary of Finance to find additional sources of funds to ensure that help reaches all affected.
"Matindi na ang epekto ng ECQ. Hindi na lang poorest of the poor ang kumakalam ang sikmura. Dapat lahat ng wala nang makain maabutan ng tulong," said Revilla Jr.
Instead of planning for two waves of releases for choice families, Revilla suggested looking into the possibility of initially releasing a single wave that would reach all affected. "After this initial release, then we work on the next wave," he suggested. "If we do this, mas marami ang maaabot ng tulong. Roughly, doble ng bilang. Then, tsaka i-operationalize yung second wave."
Revilla also expressed his optimism that the Finance Department would be able to fund this scheme, saying the Bayanihan Act has given the Executive powers to find means to do so. He also added that the Legislature will be always be available to contribute to finding solutions.
"And if they say we need to hold another special session to amend the Bayanihan Act to make this happen, I am sure the Lower House and the Senate will be ready," Revilla ended.