Duterte: DOH seeks P5.2 billion to hire over 17,000 health workers
A tarpaulin honoring frontline health workers is placed at the entrance of the Sta. Ana Hospital in Manila on April 7 as a form of gratitude to the modern day heroes in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The STAR/Miguel de Guzman

Duterte: DOH seeks P5.2 billion to hire over 17,000 health workers

Alexis Romero (Philstar.com) - April 21, 2020 - 4:57pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health is seeking P5.2 billion to hire more than 17,000 health workers who will join the government's response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), President Rodrigo Duterte said.

The planned hiring is part of the agency's effort to secure facilities and human resources for those at the frontlines in the fight against the pandemic.

"The DOH submitted to the DBM (Department of Budget and Management) the P5.2 billion budget proposal for the hiring of additional 17,757 personnel for COVID-19 response to be deployed in priority health facilities," Duterte said in his fourth weekly report on the government's COVID-19 response submitted to Congress last Monday.

The budget proposal was submitted to the DBM last April 15.

Priority health facilities include the Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Hospital and Sanitarium, Lung Center of the Philippines, Philippine General Hospital, and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.

Duterte said as of April 16, there are 743 personnel who are temporarily deployed to hospitals for COVID-19 response.

A total of 693 government and private hospitals with a total of 8,714 beds are dedicated to COVID-19.

In the same report, Duterte said the National Economic and Development Authority Investment Committee has approved the proposed COVID-19 emergency response project of the DOH.

The project, which costs P5.09 billion, will cover the establishment of testing and quarantine facilities at six major international airports nationwide; building of 21 first-line decontamination facilities at international airports in selected areas; equipping of national laboratories and sub-national public health laboratories to handle COVID-19 cases across the country; refurbishing and establishment of negative pressure isolation rooms in about 70 DOH and 85 provincial public hospitals across the country; setting up of 450 isolation tents; provision of personal protective equipment, COVID-19 test kits, diagnostic and life support equipment and ambulances.

Duterte said the trade and finance departments has also agreed to provide incentives to enterprises engaged in the manufacture of critical medicines, medical supplies and equipment and exemptions from import duties, taxes and other fees. The export requirements of exporters of critical products have also been suspended.

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