A leader of the House of Representatives on Monday said the lower chamber is now working on the May 17 target passage of the P370-billion Bayanihan 3, whose funding would be derived from “obese” government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) along with tax other measures.In an interview, House Committee on Economic Recovery Cluster co-chairman Joey Salceda said they are now working with the economic managers to find ways to craft “deficit neutral” lifeline measures under the Bayanihan 3.“The Bayanihan 3 now stands at P370 billion…. All in all, I think we can raise about P140 billion which is deficit neutral. We’re on putting on standby P166 billion for Phase 2 and another Phase 3 for P63 billion depending on revenue performance,” said Salceda following a recent meeting on Covid-19 relief between lawmakers and Department of Finance, National Economic and Development Authority, and Department of Budget and Management.The leadership of the House of Representatives has earlier proposed for the passage of P420-billion “Bayanihan to Arise As One Act,” or the Bayanihan 3.“The joint committee [of economic affairs and appropriations] will approve it I think this week or next week. It should be available on May 17, [But] I think there’s no appetite for [a] special session, so May 17 it should be and the Committee on Rules is empowered to meet. The joint committee will meet to discuss the Bayanihan 3 substitute bill,” he added.Congress is expected to resume session on May 17.Salceda said the current draft of the technical working group (TWG) on Bayanihan 3 includes P108 billion for universal basic income of P1,000 per head, with another P108 billion in standby funds; P12 billion in direct funding for assistance for individuals in crisis situations (AICS) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and P3 billion for Medical Assistance for Indigent Patients (MAIP).He said the third Bayanihan measure, composed primarily of what Salceda describes as “lifeline measures,” would be funded in a way that does not increase the country’s deficit.“In all likelihood, there will be a third Bayanihan measure. It will be deficit-neutral, if my work with [Finance] Secretary Carlos Dominguez succeeds,” said Salceda.He said these lifeline measures would immediately alleviate poverty and hunger.“We can’t do full-blown stimulus just yet because we have not yet maximized mobility. When the velocity of money is slow, it is unwise to infuse liquidity for growth. But we need to feed our people. So, actually, Bayanihan 3 will not be stimulus, but mainly lifeline,” Salceda said.HE said one of the proposals is to increase the dividend remittances from GOCCs as among the set of other measures to pay for additional Covid-19 assistance.“The question of funding was very tangled, but what cut the Gordian knot is the proposal to increase mandatory dividend remittance of GOCCs from 50 percent to 75 percent, temporarily. This will require an amendment of RA 7656, or the Dividends Law. This is probably worth P70 billion,” Salceda added.Salceda also proposed to allow the DOF to make capital withdrawals from “obese” GOCCs.“There are GOCCs that have accumulated more retained earnings over the years than they can deploy, especially now. Authorizing a distribution in excess of dividends, in favor of the government would allow us to mobilize ‘sleeping money’ for Covid-19 response without hurting our overall fiscal standing,” Salceda explained.“This is a suggestion I made to the DOF, which will then survey the full list of GOCCs for possible capital withdrawal,” Salceda added.Salceda added that there would also likely be some room for the P54- billion Pension and Gratuity Fund that the Speaker is prioritizing.“Stimulus will be much more effective later when we begin returning to normalcy. Our top priority now is to keep our people alive,” he said.“The tug-of-war was between those who wanted by increasing our debt, and those who said we could not borrow anymore. We need , so I mediated by providing options that will not increase our deficit, including more GOCC remittances, capital withdrawal from GOCCs, and taxes on POGOs [Philippine Offshore and Gaming Operations] and e-sabong. That intervention appears to have broken the gridlock. We will have Bayanihan 3,” Salceda said.Salceda also said that the DOF will soon endorse on the Senate the passage of taxes on offsite cockpit betting operations or e-sabong, and POGOs.The House has already passed its versions of these tax reforms.He said the Senate is likely to pass POGO taxes as soon as session resumes, and will discuss the e-sabong taxes soon as well.“We think we will have bicam on these measures by May or June,” Salceda added.