“The administration’s economic team has studied this very carefully. It assures us that we are still in a very good fiscal position even after we survive this crisis,” Cayetano said.
STAR/ File
‘Philippines in good fiscal position to combat COVID-19’
Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - March 26, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The government will not go bankrupt even if at least P275 billion in this year’s national budget were allotted to fight the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano assured the public yesterday.

“The administration’s economic team has studied this very carefully. It assures us that we are still in a very good fiscal position even after we survive this crisis,” Cayetano said.

The Taguig City-Pateros congressman said the Departments of Finance and Budget and Management have identified the 18 million low-income families who would bear the brunt of the Luzon-wide lockdown.

“They will be receiving subsidies ranging from P5,000 to P8,000 each, depending on the minimum wage from the region where they are from,” he said, noting that the government has prepared for a two-month quarantine, which is extendable depending on circumstances.

Farmers, tricycle and jeepney drivers, vendors or those who comprise the 13 million members in the government’s conditional cash transfer will benefit from this, and that local chief executives, like mayors and governors, are working out the details.

Pagcor releases P6 B

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) released an additional P6 billion to the Socio-Civic Projects Fund (SCPF) of the Office of the President (OP) the other day, boosting the national government’s efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

The P6-billion SCPF remittance has brought aid from Pagcor to P8.5 billion after the agency released P2 billion and P500 million earlier this month.

Apart from Pagcor’s P8.5-billion remittances, the state-run gaming agency released its P12-billion cash dividends to the National Treasury last Monday.

Pagcor chair and chief executive officer Andrea Domingo noted that Pagcor’s Entertainment City casino licensees also donated more than P200 million while the Philippine offshore gaming operators allocated P150 million for the procurement of essential supplies such as personal protective equipment, N95 masks, food and medical supplies to be distributed to selected hospitals and local government units.

Those who made the donations, in coordination with Pagcor, were Bloomberry Cultural Foundation Inc. (BCFI), the corporate social responsibility arm of Solaire Resort and Casino, which donated P60 million worth of provisions; Okada Manila Foundation (P50 million to the Philippine General Hospital); Melco Resorts and Entertainment Philippines Corp. Foundation, the charitable entity of City of Dreams Manila developer (P50 million turned over directly to the OP); and Travellers International Hotel Group Inc., the operator of Resorts World Manila, through its Resort World Philippines Cultural Heritage Foundation Inc. (P50 million). – With Rainier Allan Ronda, Mayen Jaymalin

ALLAN PETERT CAYETANO
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