MANILA – The National Economic and Development Authority’s (NEDA) Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) has approved a PHP5.09-billion project to fund the Department of Health’s (DOH) emergency response against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

This was disclosed in President Rodrigo Duterte’s fourth weekly report submitted to Congress on his use of additional powers in dealing with the health crisis.

According to the report, the emergency response project would cover the establishment of testing and patient care centers at six major international airports in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

It would finance the construction of 21 first-line decontamination facilities at international airports in selected areas across the country.

Negative pressure isolation rooms shall be installed in 70 DOH hospitals and 85 provincial public hospitals across the country.

The DOH project also includes equipping national laboratories and sub-national public health laboratories to handle Covid-19 cases across the country; setting up 450 isolation tents; and providing personal protective equipment, Covid-19 test kits, diagnostic and life support equipment, and ambulances.

The ICC consists of the Finance Secretary and NEDA Director-General as co-chairpersons; and the Executive Secretary, the Secretaries of Agriculture, Trade and Industry, Budget and Management, and the Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas as members.

Under the “Bayanihan to Heal as One” law, the executive department must submit a weekly report to Congress, every Monday, detailing how the President 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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