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Gov’t paying Dennis Uy’s 2Go Group at least P35M for use of ‘floating hospitals’

/ 03:15 PM April 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The government is paying Dennis Uy-led logistics company 2GO Group, Inc. at least P35 million for the use of its two passenger vessels as floating quarantine hospitals for persons suspected of having the new virus that causes COVID-19.

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“Nirerentahan po ito ng gobyerno, ‘yung dalawa mga P35 million ho. Mura naman ‘yan at nagamit if you will compute on the basis of bed-space and use,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said in the online Laging Handa Public Briefing on Wednesday.

Uy is the chairman of the Board of Directors of 2GO Group.  He is also the Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Udenna Corporation, a holding company with a diverse business portfolio.

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Uy is likewise known for his close ties with President Rodrigo Duterte.

Photo of “floating hospital” from the Department of Transportation

Transportation Assistant Secretary Goddess Libiran told reporters in a text message that the P35 million payment will be for the rent of the vessels for two months.

The government has converted several massive convention centers and sports facilities into isolation sites as hospitals and health care centers struggle to accommodate more COVID-19 patients.

In this file photo, President Rodrigo Duterte (R) rings the bell at the Philippine Stock Exchange in the financial district of Makati, suburban Manila on July 11, 2017, coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the listing of petroleum company Phoenix as the company’s president and CEO Dennis Uy looks on. (Photo by TED ALJIBE / AFP)

Duterte signed into law last month Republic Act No. 11469, or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, authorizing him to exercise additional powers “necessary and proper” to fight the spread of the highly contagious respiratory ailment COVID-19.

Section 4 of the law authorizes the President to direct the operation of any privately-owned hospitals and medical and health facilities including passenger vessels and other establishments to house health workers; serve as quarantine areas or centers; and public transportation to ferry health, emergency, and frontline personnel and other persons; among others “when the public interest so requires.”

Aside from state-owned facilities and passenger-vessels, the government likewise tapped private hotels as quarantine facilities for repatriated Filipinos abroad.

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For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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