MANILA - Sen. Franklin Drilon on Wednesday said the national government can sell the lots where the country's military and police headquarters and national penitentiary are located for funds to fight the coronavirus outbreak in the Philippines.
Drilon said that Camp Aguinaldo, the headquarters of the Armed Forces in the Philippines, and Camp Crame, the Philippine National Police's central office, are situated in Quezon City, which ranks among top cities in revenue generation in the country.
“Why do Camp Aguinaldo and Camp Crame have to be in city centers? That’s a huge asset. The land management experts can craft a policy which will make the government realize the maximum revenue,” he said in an online forum.
He also noted the lots of the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa have "the most expensive penitentiary in terms of cost per square meter in the entire world."
"There is no sense in letting these assets not serve their fullest extent."
Drilon made the suggestions after saying he would scrutinize the billions-worth of loans the government obtained from foreign sources for the pandemic response to see if the "funds were properly spent."
Manila has borrowed about P386.6 billion to fight the global pandemic, but the Philippines has one of the highest COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia.
As of July 15, the Philippines has logged a total of 58,850 COVID-19 cases, of whom 20,976 have recovered and 1,614 others died, based on official tally.--With reports from Sherrie Ann Torres and Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News