The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said the government has released funds for the implementation of several coronavirus response programs under the Bayanihan I and Bayanihan II.

In a statement, Budget Secretary Wendel E. Avisado, said that they have disbursed almost P70 billion to different agencies for the implementation of the government’s COVID-19 responses.

Budget Secretary Wendel E. Avisado (Photo credit: https://www.dbm.gov.ph)

Avisado said about P48.2 billion has already been released for Bayanihan I and P20.78 billion for Bayanihan II.

“These funds have been used to acquire testing kits, protective personal equipment and even medication/treatment for COVID patients in hopes of better preparing front liners in fighting this pandemic,” Avisado said.

“For health programs under the Bayanihan I and II, more than P69 billion were released to the DOH [Department of Health] to support the implementation of its programs and projects,” he added.

Avisado, however, admitted that the initial purchases of personal protective equipment (PPEs) earlier this year were more expensive.

But the budget chief explained this due to disruptions in the supply chain from abroad and the high global demand for PPEs.

He said “all countries around the world were also purchasing PPEs,” adding “at that time, it is important for the government to immediately procure PPEs in order to protect our frontliners.”

Avisado, however, revealed that, with local manufacturers now able to produce PPEs, the government can now source them locally.

“The president’s directive to us, ‘Give preference to local manufacturers’,” Avisado said.

Earlier, the Procurement Service (PS) of the DBM has called on local companies to participate in the government-wide purchase of medical supplies for the COVID-19 response.

The PS-DBM said it has implemented a “domestic preference” policy in its procurement of all COVID-19 related goods, in accordance with the Bayanihan to Recover as One law (Bayanihan 2).

Domestic preference means that PS-DBM will be awarding contracts to domestic firms, a policy that aims to stimulate employment and generate higher incomes for Filipinos, as well as provide additional tax revenue for the government.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2020/12/21/dbm-releases-p70-b-bayanihan-funds/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=dbm-releases-p70-b-bayanihan-funds)