The health ministry of the country is now under speculation regarding the whereabouts of the pandemic funds. As the pandemic brought by Covid-19 continues, the pandemic fund is at stake.
According to the news report, the Philippines, following Indonesia, had its second-biggest increase last Saturday, with a record of 14,249 new Covid-19 virus infections. Compared to other countries in Southeast Asia, the Philippines is the second in a huge number of Covid-19 infections. Furthermore, another 233 additional deaths have been reported
As the Philippines has the second greatest number of Covid-19 fatalities and cases in Southeast Asia, the expenses are expected to be high. A great amount of money is being used in battling the disease, especially now that the new Delta variant is on the spread. The outbreak of the Covid-19 is raging the healthcare workers as well as the hospitals. There have even been issues on unpaid allowances.
Moreover, the Philippines has a record of more than 1.71 million Covid cases and 29,838 deaths. Almost a quarter of the Philippine 1,291 hospitals are critically on the risk level. The government data has shown that 85% of the country’s hospitals are already occupied. Even the small hospitals nationwide are affected by the surge of Covid cases nowadays.
As the prevalence of Covid cases is rising, the pandemic fund is now being questioned. The attention of some has turned to the issue of finances relating to the Covid government fund. However, Health Secretary Francisco Duque has firmly stated that no corruption has ever taken place with the allotted funds for the Covid-19 pandemic. In his interview at DZMM radio last 14th August, he reassured everyone that no single peso from the $1.3 billion pandemic funds has ever been misused.
As there are questions speculating, the health ministry will have to submit a report, with full documentation, to the state auditor as early as next week, just before the deadline on 27th September.
The health ministry of the Philippines should explain to the public how they spend the pandemic funds. The deficiencies on the 1.33 billion dollars or 67.3 billion pesos have to be discussed. Reports say there have been irregularities and issues on the transactions for resolving the pandemic. According to Jocelyn Andiamo, Filipino Nurses United secretary-general, health workers were planning for their nationwide protest next week,
Furthermore, according to the report, the financial needs for the pandemic are not limited to purchasing the necessary materials for fighting the Covid-19 disease and giving payment and allowances to the health workers. In addition, there must have been more to consider, including the budget for infrastructure and not reported expenses.
Though there are resolutions to overcome the pandemic, there are still questions regarding the pandemic fund’s corruption. As some Filipinos are still in doubt about the usage of the pandemic funds, they still want to know the truth about the corruption issue that was raised to the health ministry.
In the meantime, as the issue of corruption is under investigation, we will hold on to the statement of Health Secretary Francisco Duque. “I am assuring you that no money was stolen and corrupted,” the health secretary said last Saturday.