Budget and Management Secretary Wendel Avisado assured the public of adequate funding for government programs and activities despite the declaration of a state of public health emergency in the country.
In a statement, he said that even as Malacanang ordered the implementation of enhanced community quarantine for Luzon, DBM “assures the public its continued operations while complying with the directives” of the memorandum on the quarantine.
He said, “releases of allotments and cash allocations shall be facilitated to cover the requirements of the government.”
Avisado said the current situation “calls for the cooperation and partnership of both the government and the private sectors in addressing the current emergency and its impending effects and consequences.”
“Therefore, the DBM will ensure the continued release of funds for the requirements of the government, especially for the Department of Health to address the (Covid-19) situation and other urgent health concerns, funds for our infrastructure projects under the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program, and funds for the peace and order requirements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, and the Philippine Coast Guard, among others,” he added.
A community quarantine was declared initially over Metro Manila starting March 15, 2020, until April 12 to help address the further rise of coronavirus disease cases.
Among others, it entails the suspension of classes at all levels and work in government service, provided that agencies have a skeletal force and directed people to observe social distancing.
However, problems that arose Monday, such as the long queues at the entry points going to Metro Manila and disobedience to the social distancing policy, prompted officials to implement a Luzon-wide enhanced quarantine starting March 17.
Under the enhanced community quarantine, the operation of mass transportation has been suspended to limit people’s movement.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte, in turn, directed the village chiefs to ensure the distribution of food supplies to poor families, whose members will lose their jobs during the community quarantine.
He also urged companies of private firms to grant workers their 13-month pay bonus in advance to alleviate the plight of their workers during the quarantine period.
To date, the government has reported 142 confirmed Covid-19 cases, three of whom recovered while 12 died. (PNA)