The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) was willing to provide the P2 billion the Health Department needed for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) response, Senate Committee on Health and Demography Chairperson Christopher "Bong" Go said on Monday.
Go added that the P2 billion was the budgetary request made by the DOH for its COVID-19 effort.
"Nakausap ko na po si PAGCOR Chairperson Andrea Domingo. Willing po silang mag-set aside ng P2 billion para mabilis at ma-release kaagad nila sa DOH," the senator said in an ambush interview.
"Mas mabilis po ito. 'Yun po ang isa sa mga pag-uusapan sa pagpupulong na ipinatawag ni Pangulong Duterte," he added.
Meanwhile, Go also said that Quezon City Representative Angelina "Helen" Tan was willing to sponsor a bill in the House of Representatives for the DOH's supplemental budget, should the national leadership deem it best for the budget to be passed by Congress.
He, however, said that such a process still required certification of the availability of funds.
Last month, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said that President Rodrigo Duterte, "in principle," approved of the P2 billion for the procurement of protective gear for health workers and an additional P10 million for supplies of face masks in the country.
Duterte declared a state of public health emergency on Monday morning as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines climbed to 10. — DVM, GMA News