Senator Joel Villanueva on Monday called on the government to tap the unused P19.45 billion calamity funds for 2020 and 2021 to fund the immediate repair of the fire-hit Philippine General Hospital.
The fire hite the sterilization area for operating room equipment and caused the suspension of admission for COVID patients until Tuesday. At least 12 babies were transferred to the nearby Sta. Ana Hospital.
"The PGH should be repaired in the same way that it treats patients - urgently - and the available balance of the calamity fund for the two fiscal years can make this possible," Villanueva said in a statement.
According to the senator, P20 billion was appropriated this year for National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Fund or NDRRMF, the official name of the calamity fund.
An unspent P5.14 billion from the 2020 NDRRMF was carried over to this year, bringing the total to P25.14 billion. As of April 30, only P2.91 billion of this amount has been released, while P2.78 is up for release, leaving a total of P19.45 billion.
"Kaya po mahalagang masimulan ang pag-repair sa PGH dahil libu-libong kababayan natin ang umaasa sa kanilang kalinga at aruga," Villanueva said.
Here's how you can donate for those affected by the PGH fire.