P40.4B spent for frontliners

By: Julie M. Aurelio - Philippine Daily Inquirer July 01,2020 - 08:36 AM

| Inquirer Photo

The Department of Health (DOH) has spent over P40.36 billion to hire health-care workers and purchase protective gear, equipment, and medicines for its coronavirus response.

In his 14th report to Congress, President Duterte noted that the DOH had used 78.5 percent of the P51.43 billion funds for COVID-19.

Most of the funds were spent on “case management related commodities” like personal protective equipment (PPE) sets, masks, and medicines worth P 23.24 billion.

This was followed by P15.05 billion for test kits and laboratory commodities, P1.4 billion for equipment and infrastructure, P616 million for augmentation for operating expenses, P21.8 million for health workers’ compensation, and P31 million for human resource for health.

A total of P45.72 billion of the DOH-managed funds came from the supplemental budget, while P5.7 billion came from coronavirus response budget funds such as cash donation, quick response fund and calamity fund, and continuing appropriation and saving.

In his report, the President said the government had hired 4,045 health workers out of the 8,553 available slots for 286 hospitals, quarantine centers, and other similar facilities.

As to the procurement of personal protective equipment, 2,069,760 of the 6,062,019 PPE sets bought by the DOH have been delivered as of June 25.

The DOH is expecting another delivery of 2.45 million PPE sets.

As to the purchase of nine different types of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test kits worth P1.6 billion, 13,439 test kits or 45.08 percent were delivered so far, with the rest to be delivered next month.

The second batch of PCR test kits worth P2.5 billion for eight different types are pending delivery, while the third batch of test kits worth P6.9 billion for 10 different types are in varying stages of procurement.

In addition, five out of 10 automated nucleic acid extraction machines bought by the Department of Budget and Management’s Procurement Service for P400 million were delivered. The rest of the machines will be delivered this week.

The government is also expecting delivery of 1,000 technical ventilators worth P946,400 each from July to March next year.

Meanwhile, 361 patients from 26 hospitals are participating in the World Health Organization’s Solidarity Trials to find a cure for COVID-19.

The clinical studies will assess the effects of repurposed antivirals on in-hospital mortality, hospital duration, and receipt of ventilation or intensive care in moderate and severe cases.

The Department of Science and Technology has approved a P29.99 million grant for the one-year project, to be implemented by the National Institute of Health under the University of the Philippines Manila. INQ

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