The budget for next year’s Department of Health was cut by P16.6 billion, former Health Chief and now Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin said Tuesday in the midst of a dengue and measles epidemic and the country’s polio revival.
Garin said previously that the DOH budget was reduced by P10 billion, but she said it was effectively P16.6 billion after further inspection because the allocation of human resources was moved to the Budget and Management Department.
The DBM would have to seek approval from the President to distribute resources to the DOH.
The former health chief said that there was a 71 percent decrease in the human resource deployment fund of the DOH, which would influence its immunization program as the organization requires professionals and staff to administer the vaccine.
There was also a 63 percent decrease in the improvement program for health services (HFEP), which Garin said would impact the application of the Universal Health Care legislation by the government.
Garin added that the department’s budget for its rabies vaccination program had a 45 percent decline and, among others, a 16 percent decline in its non-communicable disease program.
The legislator said both the DOH and the Budget and Management Department (DBM) were to blame for the decline in the budget.
According to Garin, the health department was unable to protect its budget before the DBM and accepted only what the budget department gave it.
Meanwhile, Garin rejected Sen. Panfilo Lacson’s allegations that in the 2020 domestic expenditure budget there were insertions for congressmen.
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