Senator Grace Poe on Monday appealed for the restoration of government allocation for the construction of parks and open spaces for next year.
Poe, in a statement, lamented the removal of a budget for the improvement and contruction of public open spaces in the P4.5-trillion proposed budget for 2021.
She said that from 2018 to 2020, an amount P2.5 billion was specifically allocated for the construction and improvement of public open spaces under the Local Government Support Fund.
It was present in the government’s expenditure program for next year.
“Green open spaces will be a blessing for those who are negative of COVID-19 but positive for cabin fever,” Poe explained. “Public spaces can provide an outlet for our strained and anxious citizens.”
In issuing the appeal, Poe cited 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.
She also noted that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, anyway, has allowed the conduct of non-contact sports and other forms of exercise, provided that minimum health standards are observed.