He also said that the government is prepared to respond to any contingencies as the DOH has already requested from Congress the P2 billion supplemental budget to aid in the mitigation of the COVID-19 spread.
He added that the government can also use tax collections from Philippine offshore gaming operations (POGOs) to augment the funds to contain the pandemic.
“Meron na naman tayong problema sa coronavirus. Pwede ring pagkunan natin (We already have a problem on the coronavirus. We can get funds from there [POGO tax collections]),” Panelo said despite the several controversies surrounding the industry.
The DOH raised code red on COVID-19 on March 7 after the confirmation of the first case of local transmission in the country. The President has declared a state of public health emergency as per the recommendation of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
As of writing, there are six confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines.
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