Other sources can boost DOH budget for fighting COVID-19, says Go | Inquirer News

Other sources can boost DOH budget for fighting COVID-19, says Go

/ 12:38 AM March 11, 2020

Sen. Christopher Go (Photo from his office)

MANILA, Philippines — The House appropriations committee can only allocate P1.65 billion of the P3.1 billion requested by the Department of Health for use in responding to the threat of the new coronavirus disease, or COVID-19, according to a statement issued on Tuesday by Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go.

But the rest of the funds could be raised from other sources, among them the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), Go said.


The House could only allocate P1.65 billion because that was the amount that the Bureau of the Treasure certified as available for the purpose, he explained.


According to Go, the DOH request for an additonal P3.1 billion would be used for the following:

  • P2.035 billion for personal protective equipment
  • P933 million for the Bureau of Quarantine
  • P139 million for the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine

“I mentioned last Monday that I personally spoke to PAGCOR Chair Andrea Domingo, and she said that they can provide additional funding amounting to P2 billion,” Go said.

The other sources of funding, he said, would come from the following sources:

  • P420 million from PCSO — “based on a proclamation to be issued by the President”
  • P539 million in DOH savings
  • P81 million from the DOH Quick Response Fund

“Adding all these together, we have a total of roughly P4.6 billion to help DOH and concerned agencies respond to the needs of our people amid the COVID-19 situation,” Go said. “There are also the Contingency Fund and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund that can be standby sources if needed.”

“Since the President has declared a state of public health emergency, all available resources of the government will be utilized properly and efficiently to respond to this crisis and ensure the safety of all Filipinos,” he added. “Additionally, the declaration allows the LGUs to utilize their Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Funds (LDRRMF) under RA 10121 [Republic Act No. 10121].”

As for the use of the funds, Go made this assurance: “As a senator and chair of the Senate Committee on Health, sisiguraduhin ko na ginagawa ng mga opisyal at mga ahensya ng gobyerno ang kanilang tungkulin na mapangalagaan ang kalusugan ng bawat Pilipino. Sisiguraduhin rin natin na kahit piso mula sa kaban ng bayan ay hindi masasayang.”


[As a senator and chair of the Senate Committee on Health, I will make sure that the officials and agencies of the government will be doing their duty to take care of the health of every Filipino. We will make sure that every peso from the country’s coffers won’t be wasted.]


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