MANILA — The national government has released PHP132 billion to fund the country’s response efforts against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, according to President Rodrigo Duterte’s third weekly report submitted to Congress.

In the report, Duterte said the funds were sourced from the pooled savings amounting to PHP189.82 billion from the discontinued government programs, projects, and activities under the 2019 and 2020 national budgets.

The allotments and cash allocations were released to the following departments to cover their Covid-19 response activities: the Department of Social Welfare and Development at PHP100 billion for its social amelioration program; and Department of Labor and Employment at PHP1.5 billion for displaced workers.

Around PHP30.82 billion has been allotted to provide funding assistance to cities and municipalities under the “Bayanihan Grant to Cities and Municipalities” program.

Meanwhile, Duterte said the Land Bank of the Philippines has remitted cash balances from various government agencies amounting to PHP63.6 billion to the Bureau of the Treasury.

The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) has donated PHP290 million to Covid-19 referral hospitals and approved the release of PHP447 million worth of financial assistance to 81 government hospitals, which shall be chargeable against its charity fund.

Under the “Bayanihan to Heal as One” law, the executive department must submit a weekly report to Congress, every Monday, detailing how he used his special powers to address Covid-19.

The report must include the amount and corresponding utilization of funds used, augmented, reprogrammed, reallocated, and realigned. (PNA)

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