Duterte tells donors: I do not want to handle money, go straight to hospitals
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday night asked donors to go straight to the hospitals if they want to give their cash donations as the country grapples with the COVID-19 outbreak.
In his second public address this week, Duterte revealed there are businessmen who met with him and expressed willingness to donate to the government’s COVID-19 response. However, he said he had told them to donate it straight to the hospitals because he doesn’t like accepting and handling money.
“Maraming mga milyonaryo nagpunta, nagsabi magbigay ng tulong ipapadaan sa… alam mo na. Siyempre para malaman ng Presidente talagang nagbigay sila,” Duterte said.
(A lot of millionaires coming, saying they want to provide help through…you know. Of course so that the President would know they donated.)
“Sabi ko, hindi ako nagtatanggap ng pera. Idiretso ninyo ‘yan doon sa ospital,” he added. “This is also and maybe for the information of everybody. Do not come to me bringing money. I do not accept. Ayaw kong humawak ng pera kasi ayaw kong magkwenta.”
(I said, I will not be the one to receive cash. Go straight to the hospital. I don’t want to handle money because I do not want to calculate.)
The President also reiterated his openness to sell state assets to generate more money as the government’s funds are not enough for the health crisis.
The government has set aside about P200 billion for two-month cash subsidies for 18 million low-income households to help tide them over while the Luzon lockdown keeps them away from their jobs.
Other forms of cash aid have also been extended to displaced workers, overseas workers, and small businesses.
The Philippines likewise, secured a $500-million loan from the World Bank to augment its COVID-19 war chest.
Despite this, Duterte said the government is now running low on supplies.
To date, the country has 5,660, confirmed cases of the respiratory illness, including 362 deaths and 435 recoveries.
Edited by JPV
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