COVID testing and tracing budget to be supplemented by Congress

The House of Representatives is set to deliberate for the additional allocation to combat COVID-19 given the surge of new cases in the country.

Amid the congressional break, House ways and means committee chairperson Rep. Joey Salceda reported that data on the newly reported COVID-19 cases would call for a supplementary budget to increase the government's capacity to conduct testing and contact tracing.

“We are prepared to take up proposals from the Executive to help us improve these numbers,” Salceda said. “I also had conversations with the Testing, Tracing, and Treatment Chief, Secretary Vince Dizon, some days ago, and he assured me that there will be mass testing sites that will be open to the public soon,” he added.

Despite the increase of cases, he said that the country remains within the 10 percent positive rate which Harvard public health experts determined as the ceiling to determine whether a country is running enough tests.

 

Rep. Salceda is a co-author of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act which earlier prescribed the President with additional powers as the country faces the COVID-19 pandemic.The Bayanihan Act, however, has expired last June 24 while House Bill No. 6953 or Bayanihan to Recover As One Act meant to extend the President’s special powers remain pending.

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