Malacañang still undecided on supplemental budget for COVID-19 response
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang is still undecided whether it will ask Congress for a supplemental budget for the government’s COVID-19 response.
According to Palace spokesman Harry Roque, Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado would come up with a figure on how much can be realigned from the 2020 national budget to help augment the executive’s cash allotment for the COVID-19 health crisis.
From that, the Economic Development Cluster and the Development Budget Coordination Committee will determine whether there’s still a need to ask Congress for additional funds.
“Wala pa pong desisyon diyan (No decision yet). But this week, I expect Secretary Wendel Avisado to come up with the figures kung magkano ‘yung pwedeng ma-realign as (on the amount that could be realigned by the ) executive branch pursuant to Bayanihan to Heal As One Act,” Roque said in a televised Palace briefing.
President Duterte had said the government is now “running low” in resources for their programs to help communities affected by the novel coronavirus. He even ordered Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez to look for other sources of funds as the P275 billion initially set aside by Congress for the COVID-19 response.
Duterte’s economic team also revealed late last month that the government has already spent P352.7 billion of the P397 billion in capital outlays it can tap from this year’s budget.
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