A CONGRESSMAN filed a bill on Tuesday seeking P2.4 billion in supplemental budget to prevent a coronavirus outbreak in the Philippines.

Albay Rep. Jose Maria Clemente S. Salceda wants to allot P945,000 for surgical masks for people under investigation, P9.45 million for face masks of healthcare workers, P2.025 billion for personal protective equipment for health workers and P4.52 million for the repatriation of 40 repatriates from China.

“The amount appropriated shall be released by the Department of Budget and Management to the Department of Health (DoH) in accordance with budgeting, accounting and auditing laws, rules and regulations,” Mr. Salceda said. “The DoH shall issue the guidelines necessary for the proper procurement of these items.”

Quezon Rep. and health committee chairwoman Angelina D.L. Tan on Monday said DoH wanted a P1 billion budget to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The budget would help fund the operations of the bureaus attached to the DoH, she said. — Genshen L. Espedido