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Senator says much of COVID-19 funds remain unreleased

senator says much of covid 19 funds remain unreleased 816x445 - Senator says much of COVID-19 funds remain unreleased

THE BUDGET department had not released a significant amount of funds under a law that seeks to boost government response against the coronavirus pandemic, according to a senator.

In an Oct. 21 letter to Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea, Senator Juan Edgardo M. Angara said the funds must be released because the law would expire in less than two months.

“We seek the aid of your good office to encourage all the concerned agencies to fast-track the issuance of the necessary guidelines, preparation of budget execution documents and release of the funds for the proper implementation of the law,” he said.

Mr. Angara heads the Senate finance committee. The so-called Bayanihan to Heal as One Act will lapse on Dec. 19.

Budget officials earlier told senators at a budget hearing P4.4 billion had been released to the Interior and Local department , Office of Civil Defense, Bureau of the Treasury and Foreign Affairs department.

The law provided P140 billion in funds, apart from P25 billion in standby money, to help sectors affected by the pandemic,.

Senators earlier noted that it had been three months since the first Bayanihan law took effect and after a month of enforcing the second law, the government had yet to come up with a detailed plan to help the poor. — Charmaine T. Tadalan

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