Sen. Ejercito to block the budget slash for health

National News

Senator JV Ejercito vowed to oppose the decision of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to reduce the budget allotted for the Department of Health (DoH) saying that this will adversely affect the delivery of health services for the Filipinos.

“Bawasan na ang lahat huwag lang ang budget para sa kalusugan ng ating mga kababayan! The Senate will not allow budget cuts for health programs,” Ejercito said.

Ejercito, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, said that he was baffled by the proposed slash especially now that his proposed bill on the Universal Health Care (UHC) program is on the final stage of passage and becoming a law.

“This will affect health care as a whole. Ngayon pa na malapit nang ipasa ang Universal Health Care, hindi yata tama yan!” Ejercito further noted.

Ejercito has been shepherding the UHC in the Senate not only because it is one of his legislative advocacies but also because the bill will assure the delivery of quality and accessible health care for all Filipinos.

The proposed budget for 2019 for the health department is P74.1 billion which is P36 billion lower than the 2018 budget of P109.8 billion.

Ejercito stressed that budget decrease will not only cripple the delivery of essential healthcare services for the people but will also affect the construction of hospitals and health facilities in the country as well as affect the possible creation of jobs for at least 15,000 doctors and health personnel across the country.

Ejercito also questioned Health Secretary Francisco Duque III about the lower budget for the health facilities enhancement program (HFEP) which was reduced from P30.26 billion in 2018 to P50 million in 2019.

The health facilities enhancement program ensures that health stations will be built in various communities of the country.

“Government needs to invest on the good health of its citizens. With prices of basic commodities skyrocketing we need to at help our people meet their health needs,” Ejercito added. ZALDY COMANDA / ABN