Dennis Uy-led 2GO waives P35-M gov’t payment for use of ships as hospitals
MANILA, Philippines — Shipping and logistics firm 2GO Group, Inc. will waive the government’s P35-million payment for the use of its two passenger ships as “floating” quarantine facilities for suspected COVID-19 patients, its chairman, Dennis Uy, announced Wednesday night.
“As Chairman of 2GO, I have conferred with other shareholders and have given explicit instructions to waive the P35M expected payment from the government; and if necessary make good the said amount out of my own funds to cover for the expected expenses to operate the said ships,” Uy said in a statement.
Earlier, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade revealed that the government would pay 2Go P35 million for the rental of ships for two months.
Uy, chief executive officer of Udenna Corp., is known for his close ties with President Rodrigo Duterte.
The businessman aid the use of his two vessels “was intended to be a donation” and that its actual cost was at P260 million.
“The P35M was an offer made by the DOTr, for which we had no plans of accepting,” he said.
“Again, I apologize if this news has unduly offended some of our fellow Filipinos, so let me be clear, 2GO is providing two vessels to serve as quarantine facilities free of charge to the Filipino people. Even if the government offers to pay the P35M, we in 2GO, in good conscience, have no intentions of accepting their offer.”
The government has converted several massive convention centers, sports facilities into isolation sites as hospitals and health care centers struggle to accommodate more COVID-19 patients.
It likewise tapped private hotels as quarantine facilities for repatriated Filipinos abroad.
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