No corruption in funds for coronavirus, says the philippine health ministry


Faced with questions about more than US$1 billion (S$1.35 billion) in Covid-19 spending, the Philippine Health Minister denied that any money was “stolen” on Saturday (August 14), promising that his department would account for every peso.
The country is dealing with one of Asia’s worst coronavirus epidemics. The deadly Delta variety is wreaking havoc on hospitals and healthcare workers, with some threatening mass resignations over unpaid allowances.
“You may rest confident that no funds were misused. None of the items were taken. That is something I am certain of.” Francisco Duque, Secretary of Health.
The state auditor has identified “deficiencies” totaling 67.3 billion pesos (S$1.8 billion), raising questions about the consistency of related transactions in the country’s pandemic response. The Health Ministry said it would submit its explanation, along with the required documentation, to the state auditor next week, ahead of the deadline of September 27.
The Philippines registered 14,249 new Covid-19 infections, the second-largest daily increase, and 233 new deaths on Saturday. With a quarter of the almost 53,000 persons tested positive, the positivity rate was at an all-time high. The Philippines, behind Indonesia, has the second-highest Covid-19 cases and fatalities in Southeast Asia, with over 1.71 million infections and 29,838 deaths.
The Manila capital region, which consists of 16 cities and is home to more than 13 million people, is still under extreme lockdown to prevent the Delta variety from spreading.


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