‘Wala pa ‘yang pera na ‘yan’: Duterte says govt yet to collect COVID-19 response funds
MANILA, Philippines — The P275-billion COVID-19 response funds have yet to be collected by the government, President Rodrigo Duterte pointed out as he hit back at critics of the administration’s management of the budget to respond to the health crisis.
In his pre-taped public address aired early Thursday, Duterte lambasted a lawmaker whom he did not name for questioning the government on the COVID-19 crisis budget.
A visibly irked Duterte explained that the P275 billion is not yet on hand since it is yet to be collected in the second, third, and fourth quarters of the year.
“‘Yung pinagdadaldal ng isang congressman na ulol, torpe, na may 300 billion ibinigay ng Kongreso, hangin ho lahat ‘yan. Wala pa ‘yang pera na ‘yan dito,” Duterte said.
“‘Yung budget for next year, we are preparing it now. ‘Yung budget na pinapatakbo natin was prepared last year. But COVID was not included in that budget,” he added.
The P275 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.
In his first public address this week, Duterte asked his economic managers to look for more sources of funds as he claimed that the P275-billion package under the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act will not last.
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