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COVID-19 WATCH

Unused barangay health project fund can support Covid fight

TDT

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A construction firm is asking the Department of Health to release the unused fund intended for a nationwide barangay health center project it entered into with the government four years ago.

JBros Construction Corporation and the DOH, during the administration of President Noynoy Aquino, sealed a ₱3.5-billion pact to build 3,200 barangay health centers nationwide.

A total of 570 barangay health stations were built and paid for P1.043 billion.

The stations can be used to augment the lack of medical facilities as the country fights the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, JBros suggested.

JBros is now urging the DOH to withdraw the remaining ₱P2.4 billion fund deposited in state-owned Landbank in 2016 for the Barangay Health Station project.

“At P4,000 per health worker, imagine how many health workers we can support with the P2.4 billion. The money is just sitting there, why don’t we just use it?” JBros Construction Corporation’s director for operations Julieanne Jorge said.

“We need funds, it’s there, why not use it? We are willing to help out. Whatever document that we need to sign, we are willing to execute it.”

With the Bayanihan Heal as One Act, Jorge said the President can re-allocate savings. They are still awaiting the DOH and Malacañang’s replies to the letters they sent last week.

Each health center measures 50 square meters and with space for two to three beds and a separate office for heath workers. More than 450 of the 570 barangay health centers are located Central Luzon (150 units), Calabarzon (234), Metro Manila (12) and Bicol Region (43).

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