The House Committee on Appropriations approved a Php 1.65 billion supplemental budget to fight against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the Philippines this Tuesday. However, it is lower than the budget that was originally proposed.
The Department of Health initially requested for a budget of Php 3.1 billion to combat the virus. Of that amount, Php 2.35 billion would cover costs for N95 masks, gowns, gloves, and other personal protective equipment of about 5,000 health workers for 90 days.
Php 933 million would be allocated for the Bureau of Quarantine while Php 139 million would go to tests conducted by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).
However, the Bureau of Treasury told lawmakers that there is only Php 1.65 billion available in excess funds right now. Health Undersecretary Roger Tong-an said that the budget could be outsourced from other agencies.
The DOH stated it could draw Php 4.6 billion from its own savings while the Department of Budget Management offered its contingent fund of Php 13 billion.
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