President Rodrigo Duterte’s weekly address to the nation on Monday will contain updates on the government’s expenditures for COVID-19 response, Malacañang said.
Duterte will be joined by some members of the Cabinet during the address, which will be held in his hometown Davao City.
“Isa po sa hiningi ni Presidente ngayon para sa talumpati niya ay iyong report sa lahat ng ahensiya ng gobyerno kung paano po nagastos ang mga COVID-related expenses. So, iri-report po iyan ng ating Presidente,” Duterte’s spokesperson Harry Roque said in a televised briefing.
As of June 30, the government released P374.9 billion to cover emergency assistance to vulnerable groups and individuals, wage subsidy measures, and assistance to displaced workers, the Palace said in a report ahead of Duterte’s State of the Nation Address on July 27.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development received the largest share in the amount of P200.98 billion for its Social Amelioration Program to support millions of low-income households.
The Department of Labor and Employment and the Department of Agriculture received P12.59 billion and P11.10 billion, respectively, to support their programs for displaced formal and informal workers, overseas Filipino workers and affected farmers and fisherfolks.
Around P51 billion was also provided to workers of small businesses adversely affected by the pandemic.
The Department of Health received P48.23 billion to fund the agency’s immediate and continued COVID-19 response programs as well as for the procurement of test kits and PPEs.
The Palace earlier welcomed the call of some senators for a special audit of the government’s expenses to curb the spread and impact of COVID-19 in the country.
Congress has already prepared relief measures worth P165.5 billion to sustain the government's response and help sectors crippled by the pandemic. — Virgil Lopez/RSJ, GMA News