Philippines requires P3B to combat the spread of COVID-19

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The Department of Health requested a supplementary budget of P3 billion from the House of Representatives to combat the spread of coronavirus disease by 2019 or COVID-19 in the country.

At the hearing of the House Committee on Appropriations, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said that P2.35 billion of the budget would be used to buy personal protective equipment — headgear, goggles, N95 masks, gloves, overall gowns, aprons, and shoe covers.

Duque said the DOH had taken into account 5,000 health workers working for 90 days, with three sets of security per day.

In addition, the DOH also reported that an additional P933 million was required for maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) and salaries for the Quarantine Personnel Bureau.

The DOH also demanded P139 million for the procurement of 40,000 test kits.

Nevertheless, the Treasury Board (BTr) reported that only P1.65 billion was eligible to be disbursed at this time.

It referred to House Bill 6166, which aims to provide the DOH with additional funding of P2.4 billion to tackle the spread of COVID-19.

For its part, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has confirmed that the DOH will access other sources of funding, such as the GAA 2020 Contingency Fund and the DOH Quick Response Fund (QRF).

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