BAGUIO CITY -The city government has approved the allocation of PHP94.29 million additional coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) response fund for the year.
Jordan Habbiling, Public Information Officer (PIO) of the Baguio City Council, on Friday said the legislative branch approved the allocation in a special session Thursday due to the urgency of the request of Mayor Benjamin Magalong.
Habbiling said the council approved the request for a supplemental budget to augment the dwindling funds of the city for its Covid-19 operations.
He said the mayor's request came as a priority due to the continuing increase in Covid-19 cases in the city.
As of Thursday, the city has 128 new Covid-19 cases which brought the overall tally of active cases to 2,753.
Based on the schedule of expenditure submitted by the executive which was the basis for the approval of the additional fund, this will be used for the maintenance of the two isolation facilities -- Sto. Nino Hospital, PHP18.14 million; and Baguio Teacher's Camp, PHP16.71 million.
Also included in the additional budget are the PHP20.28 million for contact tracing, Baguio Convention Center Triage - PHP13.4 million, PHP20.6 million for vaccination, PHP4.3 million for programs to protect and shield the vulnerable population, and PHP760,000 to strengthen mass testing, mental health care, and wellness program, and strengthening the Emergency Operation Center/One Hospital Command Center, among others.
The information officer said the mayor's letter noted the continuing rise of Covid-19 cases "and the seemingly unending threat of various variants of concern, we have to intensify our Covid-19 responses outlined in our resiliency and contingency plans".
In earlier interviews, the mayor said the local government is focused on identifying additional isolation and Covid-19 facilities to address the city's increasing demand due to the continuing surge in new Covid-19 cases.
Habbiling said the city also continues to bolster its vaccination campaign to reach the target population and attain herd immunity before the year ends.
"All these efforts, according to the chief executive, need financial support," he said. (PNA)