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Salceda defends basic income approach of Bayanihan 3

May 25th, 2021

Salceda defends basic income approach of Bayanihan 3; cites need to protect household income during COVID crisis

House Ways and Means Committee Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district) defended the need for universal basic income under House Bill No. 8628, or the Bayanihan to Arise as One, as the House plenary began the period of sponsorship of the measure March 24.

“We are introducing, for the first time in Philippine policy if enacted, the concept of Universal Basic Income. P1,000 per Filipino, one assured tranche, and one in standby. No ifs or buts. It avoids politicization. The rich can freely return it if they want; after all, there are very few rich people in this country. Almost everybody is hurting,” Salceda added.

Salceda recalled that he first proposed the idea in lieu of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) in a lengthy memorandum to the President and to economic managers in May 2020.

“I recommended it because we did not have the database. So, it would have been easier to just list everyone we gave money to, instead of finding a list of people to give money to. It would have been fair, simple, and quick,” Salceda said.

Salceda adds that the measure would also be fairer to the poor “who tend to have bigger households. Assistance on a per-person basis is more equitable, because people eat on a per-person basis. It really is that basic.”

Earlier this year, Salceda also warned that the best way to ensure that the economy recovers quickly is “to protect household income as more than 70% of the Philippine economy is consumption-based.”

“As much as I would like to make us a more investment driven economy, for now, consumption creates Filipino jobs. So, we need to pump-prime consumption. It allows people to create jobs in resilient and essential sectors, instead of us having to select winners and losers, and potentially feed dead horses,” Salceda said.

Bayanihan 3 expected to hurdle House before adjournment

“We are prioritizing passing this measure before pre-SONA adjournment. Our hope is that during or in the days after the State of the Nation Address, we have already provided help to the people,” Salceda said.

“The period between June and December 2021 will be the gap between a more normal economy, and one or lingering hardship. By December, a critical mass of our people shall have already been vaccinated. So, Bayanihan 3 is really the bridge between this crisis and recovery. It is the bridge to the vaccine,” Salceda said.

“Members of the House have set aside differences to get this bill through. 293 members have already co-sponsored this measure, so there is no doubt that this will pass the House. We hope to bring our version to the Senate soon, so that the ball will be in their court. The people obviously need this, so we hope they do something,” Salceda added.

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