Duterte to sell gov’t assets as ‘a last resort’ to fund COVID-19 fight
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte raised the possibility of selling government assets as last resort should funding for efforts to fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) be exhausted.
In a televised address aired early Thursday, Duterte said running out of money to address this crisis would be the “endgame.”
“What is the endgame? Pag maubos talaga ang pera,” Duterte said. “Pag wala na akong makuha and we’re about to sink and really sink, I will sell all the assets of the government tapos itulong ko sa tao.”
[What is the endgame? If the money runs out. When I can’t get any more and we’re about to sink, I will sell all the assets of the government and use it to help the people.)]
Duterte floated the idea of selling the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) or the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).
In a previous address, the Presiden said he was looking for more sources to fund the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the P270-billion budget allotted “was not enough.”
The P270-billion budget for the COVID-19 response efforts was part of the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act, which was recently signed by Duterte.
Under the law, the government has set aside P200 billion worth of cash aid to be distributed to some 18 million low-income families, with the amount ranging from P5,000 to P8,000 depending on the wage rates in their regions.
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