Duterte: Money owed to the PH Red Cross will be paid

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(FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 19) — President Rodrigo Duterte assured the Philippine Red Cross on Monday the money owed them by PhilHealth would be paid.

In his weekly televised address discussing the government's response to COVID-19, Duterte said, "Itong Red Cross...huwag kang mag-alala mababayaran ito. We're just looking for a way to present the solution to...sa COA pati sa Budget. Do not worry, we will pay. It will take time but we will pay."

[Translation: With the Red Cross...don't worry we will pay this. We're just looking for a way to present the solution to...COA as well as Budget. Do not worry, we will pay. It will take time but we will pay.]

The President says the focus remains on giving proper medical attention to the public.

Last week, the Philippine Red Cross stopped conducting COVID-19 tests chargeable to PhilHealth after the state health insurance agency's failure to settle its increasing outstanding balance.

The PRC said these services cannot resume until PhilHealth pays its overdue balance of P930.99 million.

Despite the issues with the Philippine Red Cross, the President expressed confidence that its chairman, Senator Richard Gordon, would not stop helping.

"Yung Red Cross kasi hindi nabayaran sa testing sa COVID. So ang problema nito Red Cross is threatening to, I do not know, but I do not think Senator Gordon would have in his mind to stop. He would continue," he said.

[Translation: The Red Cross has not been paid for the COVID testing. And I don't know what they are threatening to do, but I do not think Senator Gordon would have in his mind to stop. He would continue.]

The President said he would tell the Senator the amount would be paid, but recognized the government's challenges regarding money.

"Money has always been a problem everywhere, lalo na mga gobyerno. So dumaan tayo ng malaking gastos, at we are trying to make both ends meet. Ika nga, parang lastiko talagang...binabanat nating husto ang resources natin," he said.

[Translation: Money has always been a problem everywhere, especially in government. We have paid for a huge expense, and we are trying to make both ends meet. Just like a rubber band...we are stretching our resources.]