The Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, also known as the Bayanihan Act, and officially designated as Republic Act No. 11469, is a law in the Philippines that was enacted in March 2020 granting the President additional authority to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines. The word “bayanihan” is a Tagalog word for communal work.
BACKGROUND. Following the sharp increase of confirmed cases, Congress to hold special sessions on March 23 to enact the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act upon his request, which would “authorize the President to exercise powers necessary to carry out urgent measures to meet the current national emergency related to COVID-19 only for three months unless extended by Congress.” The act would allow President Duterte to “reallocate, realign, and reprogram” a budget of almost ₱275 billion ($5.37 billion) from the estimated ₱438 billion ($8.55 billion) national budget approved for 2020, in response to the pandemic; enable him to “temporarily take over or direct the operations” of public utilities and privately owned health facilities and other necessary facilities “when the public interest so requires” for quarantine, the accommodation of health professionals, and the distribution and storage of medical relief; and “facilitate and streamline” the accreditation of testing kits.