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Bayanihan 2 raises COVID-19 response fund to $21.45B

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 04:30 AM September 26, 2020

The additional stimulus under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act has jacked up the Philippines’ war chest against COVID-19 to $21.45 billion (or P1.04 trillion), the latest Asian Development Bank (ADB) data showed.

As of Sept. 21, the Philippines’ financial package to address the health and socioeconomic crises inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic rose from $21.1 billion in July, $20.1 billion in June, $19.8 billion in May and $16.5 billion in April, the ADB’s COVID-19 policy database showed.

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The updated package is equivalent to 5.83 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). If divided among the population, the package translates to $201.11 or about P9,750 per Filipino.

The addition to the COVID-19 war chest came from the enactment on Sept. 11 of the so-called Bayanihan 2 fiscal package worth P165.5 billion—P140 billion in regular appropriations and P25.5 billion in contingency funds.

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The Philippines’ COVID-19 package is the sixth largest in Southeast Asia, after Indonesia’s $115.78 billion, Singapore’s $92.12 billion, Thailand’s $84.09 billion, Malaysia’s $78.45 billion, and Vietnam’s $26.5 billion.

It exceeded Cambodia’s $2.21 billion, Brunei Darussalam’s $318.12 million, Timor-Leste’s $254 million, Myanmar’s $98.64 million and Laos’ $30.35 million.

On per capita basis, six of the Philippines’ Southeast Asian peers have bigger COVID-19 response funds—Singapore has the largest at $16,337.50 per person; Malaysia, $2,488.18; Thailand, $1,211.20; Brunei, $741.61; Indonesia, $432.54 and Vietnam, $277.40.

The Philippines’ economic response per capita surpassed those of Timor-Leste ($200.32), Cambodia ($136), Myanmar ($1.84) and Laos ($4.30).

As a share of GDP, Brunei Darussalam’s COVID-19 package is equivalent to 2.66 percent; Cambodia, 8.27 percent; Indonesia, 10.94 percent; Laos, 0.16 percent; Malaysia, 22.07 percent; Myanmar, 0.13 percent; Singapore, 26.2 percent; Thailand, 15.96 percent; Timor-Leste, 8.65 percent, and Vietnam, 10.12 percent.

The Philippines now has the biggest number of COVID-19 cases in the region.

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