THE government has obtained $3 million in additional funding from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to contain a novel coronavirus outbreak that has infected at least 52 people in the Philippines, the Finance department said on Friday.
The agency had negotiated the $3-million grant for the Department of Health (DoH) from the multilateral bank, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III told reporters in a Viber message.
Mr. Dominguez said his department had also helped obtain P3 billion in additional budget — P2.5 billion from Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) and P450 million from Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office — for DoH.
“This will fund the program of DoH to combat the COVID-19 contagion, which includes the acquisition of test kits,” he said, referring to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) that has killed more than 4,700 people and sickened 128,000 more worldwide, mostly in China.
Budget Secretary Wendel E. Avisado said funds from the Department of Budget and Management for infrastructure and other government projects and purchases needed by DoH were available and would remain “unhampered by the current situation.”
Earlier, ADB announced a total of $4 million worth of financing support to help several countries in fighting the coronavirus pandemic, and another $18.6 million in private sector loans given to Wuhan, China-based pharmaceutical distributor Jointown Pharmaceutical Group Co. Ltd. “to support the continued supply of essential medicines and personal protective equipment.” — Beatrice M. Laforga