Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero (File photo)

MANILA – A leader of the House of Representatives on Monday proposed to include financial aid for private school teachers and personnel in the Bayanihan to Recover as One bill or Bayanihan 2.

Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero said private school personnel should receive financial assistance similar to low-income households which received around PHP5,000 to PHP8,000 worth of emergency subsidy under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

“We should have one-time assistance for employees in private schools who, like most of our workers, have been affected by the Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic. Many of these employees have been without jobs and income as well,” Romero said. “We can categorize them as low-income and include the same amount of aid for them in Bayanihan 2, depending on the regions where they are located.”

He said private school teachers would continue to be without income until classes open in August.

Romero noted that in the case of the more than 700,000 public school personnel, they continued to receive salaries during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our workers in the private education system need our help. Like most of our people, they too are suffering from this pandemic,” he said.

He suggested that the Department of Labor and Employment and private schools could be asked to identify the potential beneficiaries for this proposed initiative.

Last Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the executive branch is still assessing the need for Congress’ special session to tackle the proposed “Bayanihan 2” which contains a stimulus package to revive the country’s economy after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Roque made the statement after Senate President Vicente Sotto III said the Senate is no longer keen on a special session for the passage of Bayanihan 2 since Congress is set to resume its second regular session on July 27.

Bayanihan 2 will serve as a supplemental measure to Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, which already expired on June 25.

RA 11469 gave President Rodrigo Duterte a total of 31 emergency powers to address the Covid-19 crisis in the country.

The Senate and the House of Representatives have already drafted their different versions of a proposed measure replacing RA 11469. (PNA)