House leader seeks boost to fund fight against deadly virus

February 03, 2020

THE chairperson of the House Committee on Health yesterday sought a P1 billion supplemental budget to help government’s fight against the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

Quezon Rep. Angelina “Helen” Tan, the panel chairperson, said her P1 billion figure was based on the proposal of the Department of Health (DOH) to beef up budget requirements for its offices such as the Disease and Prevention Control Bureau.

“It is about time that Congress approved a supplemental budget to fight the spread of nCoV in the country and protect the Filipinos from this deadly virus,” said Tan in a press conference, adding that she will file a bill on the supplemental budget.

Tan also said (the supplemental budget would help the need of Health Facility Development Bureau for its health facility preparedness, Health Emergency Management Bureau for its quick response, Bureau of Quarantine, Health Promotion and Communications Service, and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).

“I believe that it is also about time that we strengthened the RITM because currently it has only 50 beds for patients with infectious diseases requiring tertiary care 7. The test kits or primers to identify if a patient is positive for the nCoV is with the RITM,” said Tan.

She also vowed to file a resolution to look into the country’s preparedness for health emergencies.