MANILA, Philippines — State-run Philippine General Hospital (PGH) may tap the presidential social fund to pay for repairs of damage from a recent fire, Malacañang said Monday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the PGH may access the fund to rehabilitate its facilities that were damaged during the fire that hit early Sunday morning.
“Doc Legaspi, kung anong kailangan ninyo sabihin ninyo lang,” Roque said, addressing PGH director Gerardo Legaspi, in an online press briefing.
The Palace official also emphasized President Rodrigo Duterte’s commitment to help the facility as he recalled the president’s offer of P100 million a month to aid the facility’s operations.
“Dati na siyang nag-offer ng malaking halaga, kung ano po ang kinakailangan ngayon para ma-repair ang mga damage, pwede pong i-tap yung presidential social fund dahil yan po ay dati na pong ini-offer sa PGH,” Roque said.
Roque noted that the PGH only uses P25 million per month from the presidential social fund for the treatment of their patients.
The PGH is one of the country’s main COVID-19 referral hospitals.
Legaspi, meanwhile, assured that the hospital’s COVID-19 response operations will not be hampered after the fire.
He only appealed to resume operations after a day since they are still working on the transfer of patients and clearing up of areas affected by the fire.
“We stand committed with our role as COVID referral center po but as I said just for today, hinihintay lang pong mabakante ang mga lugar, at safe sila mailagay kasi huling check namin may amoy pa ho ng smoke,” Legaspi said.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), for its part, assured that it will handle repair works on the hospital.
DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said they have already inspected the facility to see the extent of damages.
“Syempre tutulong po kami sa repair ng na-damage na portion… Ask the engineering na arm of the government, syempre pag may mga pangangailangan ang ating government infrastructures kami po yung tutulong,” Villar said.
The cause of the fire that hit the PGH is still under investigation. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)