Sen. Grace Poe is batting for the restoration of the P2.5-billion fund for the construction of public open spaces in major cities in the proposed budget for next year.
“Green open spaces will be a blessing for those who are negative of COVID-19 but positive for cabin fever,” said Poe.
The amount of P2.5 billion was specifically allocated for the construction and improvement of public open spaces under the Local Government Support Fund from 2018 to 2020. However, the same item is not present in the expenditure program for fiscal year 2021.
“Public spaces can provide an outlet for our strained and anxious citizens,” said Poe, citing a 2018 study by the World Health Organization that cities in the Philippines severely lacked parks and open spaces for exercise as well as footpaths for safe walking and lanes for biking.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has allowed the conduct of non-contact sports and other forms of exercise, provided that minimum health standards are observed.