Minority senators call for special session to pass COVID-19 supplemental budget
MANILA, Philippines — Members of the Senate minority on Sunday called for a special session to pass a supplemental budget to address the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
In a joint statement, Senators Leila De Lima, Franklin Drilon, Risa Hontiveros, and Francis Pangilinan urged the upper chamber to gather for a special session as the government scrambles to contain the coronavirus in the country.
“The supplemental budget should cover the test kits for massive testing; relief goods for the most vulnerable; additional health personnel, equipment (protective gear and hospital beds), and vitamins and medicine; cash support or basic income grant for the daily wage earners and the unemployed who don’t have sick and vacation leaves; and subsidy or easy loans to help businesses, especially the micro and small ones, keep afloat during this period,” the senators said.
The Department of Health is seeking the passage of at least P2 billion supplemental budget for COVID-19.
The House committee on appropriations has approved a P1.6-billion supplemental budget for the country’s response COVID-19.
The Philippines has so far recorded 111 COVID-19 cases, of which eight have died, two recovered, and 101 remains admitted.
The Philippines is currently under a state of public health emergency due to the virus, which originated from Hubei, China.
The World Health Organization declared the disease as a global pandemic after it killed nearly 5,000 people and infected 110,000 others worldwide.
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