5th Covid-19 Report: More gov’t measures on health, budget, assistance

President Rodrigo Duterte has detailed the new measures of the government against COVID-19 in his fifth weekly report to Congress.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte updates the nation on the government’s efforts in addressing the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on April 27, 2020. (Karl Norman Alonzo, Presidential Photo)

The report primarily emphasized the three phases of government’s action including response (testing, contact tracing, quarantine), mitigation (food security and reduce financial losses), and transition to the new normal (whole of government approach).

Based on the report, more than Php 245 billion have been released by the government to address the needs of the citizens amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

To boost the manpower of healthcare facilities, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) “has approved the request of the DOH for the engagement of an additional 15, 757 healthcare professionals under contract of service for a period of three months.”

It also indicated that as of April 23, “a total of 1,101 COVID-referral hospitals have been designated across the country.”

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will also be starting clinical trials in testing the efficacy of virgin coconut oil against COVID-19.

On the Small Wage Subsidy Program, the report showed that “6,403 employers have completed the application process on behalf of 130,188 employees.” The actual payouts will be on May 1 to 15 for first tranche, and May 16 to 30 for the second tranche.

Meanwhile, the DOJ has approved the resolution of Board of Pardons and Parole that aims to “simplify the requirements and procedures for the processing of applications for parole or executive clemency” to decongest prison facilities.

The Chief Executive’s report also said the 17 licensure exams scheduled from March to June that have been postponed due to the enhanced community quarantine “will be pushed through later this year.” (Mela Lesmoras, PTVNews)