Duterte seeks more funds for COVID-19 response as P270B ‘not enough’
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte asked Finance Secretary Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez III on Monday evening to look for more sources to fund the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that the P270-billion budget already alotted was “not enough.”
In a televised address, he noted that P100 billion for one month or P 270 billion for two months was not enough.
“I’m calling on Secretary of Finance to generate [more],” Duterte said in a televised public address.
“Magnakaw ka, maghiram ka. Wala akong pakialam. Produce mo ‘yung pera,” he added.
[Steal it, borrow it. I don’t care. Produce the money.]
The P270 billion budget for the novel coronavirus response efforts was part of the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act, which granted Duterte special powers to allocate it.
The President said he would want Dominguez to explore other options to adjust the 2020 national budget.
The government has set aside P200 billion worth of cash aid to be distributed to about 18 million low-income households.
The beneficiaries are to receive subsidies of P5,000 to P8,000 per household monthly for two months.
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