Paucity in appropriation is aggravated by ineptness in fund utilization for the pandemic response.
This is the tragedy of Bayanihan 2 or R.A. No. 11494 which expires today with P18.4-B billion for the Covid-19 contagion still unutilized as admitted by Malacañang.
This is a serious indictment of the failure of the Duterte administration to rescue Filipinos from health complications and bail out the economy consequent to the onslaught of Covid-19.
This ineffectiveness accounts for the projection that the Philippines will be the last to recover in late 2022 from the pandemic-induced recession among the countries in the Asia-Pacific Region which HAVE outpaced the country in the amount and alacrity in responding to the pandemic.
It will be recalled that the funding of P165.5-B in Bayanihan 2 was already considered inadequate and lower than what was originally proposed by the House of Representatives due to the tightfisted bidding of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez.
The validity of Bayanihan 2 was originally fixed from September 11, 2020 to December 19, 2020, and its effectivity was subsequently extended to June 30, 2021 or a total validity of more than nine months.
EDCEL C. LAGMAN