MANILA Rep. Manny Lopez on Sunday supported the position of President Rodrigo Duterte to enter into reasonable out-of court settlements with big and small firms with back taxes to be able to start a P1-billion upgrade of public hospitals in Tondo.
He agreed with former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, who endorsed the President’s proposal to the Department of Finance to “put to good use for the benefit of the people” the much-needed funds, instead of exhausting legal cases against the tax delinquents.
He welcomed the statement of the President that at least a P1-billion fund from his P3-billion offer for an out-of-court settlement with tobacco firm Mighty Corp. would be used to upgrade, improve and modernize the facilities of Tondo public hospitals.
“It is a very good news for my poor constituents. We support the proposal to provide immediate relief to indigent patients,” he said.
Tondo has three public hospitals—the Ospital ng Tondo, Tondo Medical Center and Gat Andres Bonifacio Medical Center.
“To instantly raise funds for the basic social services of the poor people is a guaranteed victory,” Lopez said.
Estrada earlier said a compromise deal involving taxpayers is allowed under the law.
The President said he could use the money to also build hospitals in Basilan and Jolo, Sulu and a huge relocation site for thousands of squatters.
“It is the decision of the President [to enter in an out-of-court settlement]. He’s the commander-in-chief,” Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said.