DOH spent P40.36B Bayanihan funds to manage COVID-19

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    PRESIDENT Duterte has said that 78.5 percent of the P51.43 billion cash allocation downloaded and managed by the Department of Health (DOH), or P40.36 billion, had already been spent for the purchase and acquisition of medical supplies, testing kits and other items needed for the government’s fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

    The President, in his 14th Bayanihan Act report to Congress, said the DOH has already spent P40.36 billion of the funds, with P23.24 billion used for “case management related commodities” like personal protective equipment, masks and medications; P15.05 billion for test kits and laboratory commodities; P1.4 billion for equipment and infrastructure; P616 for augmentation expenses; P31 million for human resource for health; and P21.8 million for health worker compensation.

    Duterte said 89 percent of the budget or P45.72 billion was sourced from the supplemental budget while 11 percent or P5.7 billion came from “Health Response Budget Funds” like cash donations, quick response fund, calamity fund continuing appropriations, and savings.

    He said the government also pooled P266.235 billion from savings, unprogrammed funds and discontinued projects and programs and had released part of it to augment government subsidy and aid programs like the “National Fisheries, Livestock, Organic Agriculture, Corn, Rice and Livestock Program” of the Department of Agriculture (DA), and the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis of the Department Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

    The pooled savings were also used to augment the Emergency Repatriation Program of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), the Basic Education-Learning Continuity Plan of the Department of Education (DepEd), and the COVID-19 related activities of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

    The President also reported that P5.493 billion of funds under the Bayanihan Grant to local government units had also been used up for food assistance and relief packs given away by LGUs to families affected families by the COVID-19 lockdown, for procurement of hospital and medical equipment and supplies including PPE, test kits and masks; for the repair or lease of establishments used for the accommodation of front liners and temporarily homeless, among others.

    Duterte said that government had also hired 4,045 health workers who were deployed to 286 government health facilities, hired and trained 54,183 contact tracers who traced 118,318 person with close contacts to COVID -19 patients, and 113,254 general or secondary contacts.

    He said 24 hospitals had also been tapped as COVID -19 referral hospitals, 1,888 as COVID-19 accepting hospitals and 6,932 establishments as temporary treatment and monitoring facilities.

    The President said the government, through the Department of Science and Technology, had also allotted P29.99 million for the one year clinical trials for antiviral trials. He said 361 patients from 26 hospitals had joined ongoing clinical testings.

    Duterte reiterated that part of the Bayanihan supplemental funds went to various subsidy and loan programs of the government like the Social Amelioration Program under the DSWD, where P101.002 billion was distributed to 17.65 million families under the first tranche. He said P25.8 billion had been allotted for 3.8 million waitlisted families.

    He also reported that P45.6 billion had been distributed to small business wages earners that benefitted 3.05 million beneficiaries; and P1.799 billion to 176,082 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) under the Department of Labor and Employment’s COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) Abot-Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP).

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