Duterte may ask Congress for more funds for COVID-19 response

By: Darryl John Esguerra - INQUIRER.net - Inquirer.net | April 24,2020 - 07:39 PM

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang said Friday that President Rodrigo Duterte may ask Congress to grant him additional budget in light of the continuing response of the government against coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

According to Duterte’s economic team, the government has already spent P352.7 billion out of the P397 billion available funds for the health crisis.

But Duterte’s spokesman Harry Roque said the government may access more funds with the authorization from Congress.

“May pondo po tayo, ang problema po kinakailangan siguro talagang mag-enact ng supplemental budget ang Kongreso kasi hindi namin magagastos iyong iba pang mga pondo na walang mandato ng ating mga mambabatas,” Roque said in an interview dzMM.

Congress is set to resume sessions on May 4, days after another extension of the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Central Luzon, and other areas in Luzon take effect.

Congress has already passed the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, which gave Duterte additional powers to effectively respond to the health crisis including the authority to realign government funding.

Duterte previously said that the government is now “running low” on resources.

He even expressed openness to selling government assets to acquire more funds for COVID-19 response.

EDV

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TAGS: 'enhanced community quarantine', Congress, COVID-19 lockdown, government funds

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