Senate Bill No. 1418 or “The Bayanihan To Heal As One Act” was approved on its third and final reading by the Philippine House of Representative and the Senate.
The Senate’s version of the bill was adopted by the Philippine House of Representatives and will be forwarded to the President for his signature.
Once turned into law, the President of the Philippines will have the authority to exercise his powers, if necessary, to carry out the declared National Policy only for a limited period, subject to restrictions. This will be in effect for three months unless extended by the Congress.
Upon implementation, the president must submit a weekly report to the Congress, every Monday of the week.
Number of Votes
The senators passed “Bayanihan To Heal as One Act” or Senate Bill No. 1418 with 12 plenary affirmative votes and 8 other senators who are not present in the session voted through a phone call.
With 284 affirmative and 9 against votes, the Philippine House of Representatives approved the “Bayanihan To Heal as One Act” or House Bill No. 6616.
Highlights of Senate Bill No. 1418
With “The Bayanihan To Heal As One Act,” the President will be able to adopt the TEMPORARY EMERGENCY MEASURES listed below.
Give instructions to privately-owned hospitals and medical and health facilities, including passenger vessels and other establishments to:
- House health workers;
- Serve as quarantine areas, quarantine centers, medical relief, and aid distribution locations, or the other temporary medical facilities;
- Provide public transportation to ferry health, emergency and frontline personnel and other persons
- The management and operation of the said enterprises shall be retained.
- A full accounting of the enterprise operations shall be given to the President or his authorized representative to serve as the basis for appropriate compensation
- In case of any additional damage or costs incurred by the enterprise owner while in compliance with the President’s orders, a reasonable compensation shall be given after the situation has stabilized or at the soonest time practicable.
- If enterprises unjustifiably refuse or signified that they can no longer continue operations in compliance of the President’s orders, the latter may take over their operations, subject to the law.
EXEMPTIONS (as per the “Government Procurement Reform Act” and other relevant laws)
1. PPE, Laboratory, Medical Supplies and Equipment
DOH shall prioritize the providing PPE, medical supplies and equipment to the following:
- Provincial, regional, municipal public health facilities designated as COVID-19 referral hospitals, such as but not limited to:
- Philippine General Hospital,
- Lung Center of the Philippines
- Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital;
- Private hospitals which have existing capacities to provide support care and treatment to COVID-19 patients
- Public and private laboratories that have existing capacities to test suspected COVID-19 patients.
2. Goods and services essential for improving the situation of affected communities
3. Lease of real property or venue for use to house health workers or serve as quarantine centers, medical relief, and aid distribution locations, or temporary medical facilities
4. Establishment, construction, and operation of temporary medical facilities
5. Utilities, telecommunications, and other critical services used in the operation of quarantine centers
6. Medical relief and aid distribution centers and temporary medical facilities
*including supporting services
Allocate *cash, funds, investments, including unutilized or unreleased subsidies and transfers for COVID-19 emergency use.
*Funds held by Government-owned and Controlled corporations (GOCC) or any national government agency
Direct Financial Institutions to implement a minimum of a 30-day payment extension period for the following:
- Including but not limited to loans (salary, personal, housing, and car) and credit card payments
- With due dates from March 16 to April 15, 2020
- WITHOUT interest or penalties
- Persons with multiple loans
- minimum of thirty (30) days extension for every loan
- Payment for residential rents with due dates from March 16 to April 15, 2020
- WITHOUT interest or penalties
Implement an expanded and enhanced Pantawid Pamilya Program and provision of commodity assistance program
The Secretary of Department of Social Welfare and Development may:
- Purchase commodities for emergency distribution to the members of the informal and marginalized sectors during the duration of the quarantine.
- Approve the temporary emergency standards of eligibility and levels of benefits.
Other Powers granted to the President
- Adopt and implement measures to prevent transmission of COVID-19
- Streamline the accreditation of testing kits and facilitate prompt testing by public and private institutions.
- Ensure that all LGUs act in line with the following rules, regulations, and directives issued by the National Government
- Enforce measures to protect the people from hoarding, profiteering, injurious speculations and manipulation of prices.
- Acceptance and distribution of donation of health products are not necessarily delayed
- Engage the services of the Philippine Red Cross as the primary humanitarian agency
- Engage temporary Human Resources for Health (HRH) such as medical and allied medical staff to complement or supplement the current health workforce
- Ensure the availability of credit to the productive sectors of the economy especially in the countryside
- Liberalize the grant of incentives for the manufacture or importation of critical or needed equipment or supplies.
- Require businesses to prioritize and accept contracts for materials and services necessary to promote the herein declared national policy.
- Regulate and limit the operation of all sectors of transportation through land, sea or air, whether private or public.
- Regulate traffic on all roads, streets, and bridges
- Continue to authorize alternative working arrangements for employees and workers in the Executive Branch, and whenever it becomes necessary, in other independent branches of government and constitutional bodies, and the private sector.
- Conserve and regulate the distribution and use of power, fuel, energy, and water, and ensure adequate supply.
- Direct the discontinuance of appropriated programs, projects or activities of any agency of the Executive Department, including government-owned or controlled corporations, in the FYs 2019 and 2020 General Appropriations Act.
- Any unutilized or unreleased balance in a special purpose fund, as of the date of declaration of State of Emergency, shall be considered to have their purpose abandoned for the duration of the State of Emergency.
- Reprogram, reallocate, and realign from savings on other items of appropriations in the FY 2020 GAA in the Executive department, as may be necessary and beneficial to fund measures that address and respond to the COVID-19 emergency, including social amelioration for affected communities, and the recovery of areas, sectors, and industries severely affected.
- Move statutory deadlines and timelines for the filing and submission of any document.
VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES
- Two-month imprisonment OR fine amounting to Php 10,000.00 up to Php 1,000,000.00
- Both two-month imprisonment and fine
If the violator is a corporation, association, partnership, or any other similar entity, the following will be penalized:
- president, directors, managers
- persons who participated or knowingly permitted the commission of the violation
Foreign violators must be deported without further proceedings in addition to the penalties mentioned. On the other hand, government officials and employees who will violate the provisions will suffer perpetual or temporary absolute disqualification from office aside from same penalties listed above.
SOURCE: SB NO. 1418