System ‘defect’ caused health services budget cut – Garin
MANILA, Philippines — Iloilo 1st District Rep. Janette Garin on Tuesday said a system “defect” in the system of the Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Budget and Management (DBM) caused a huge cut for health services in the proposed P4.1 trillion 2020 national budget.
“It’s bad to say but I would blame, not really blame but they think it’s a system, a defect in the system, both DOH and DBM,” Garin, a former health secretary, said in an interview on ANC’s “Early Edition.”
“First, pinaglalaban mo kasi yung budget ng departamento, you just don’t accept what’s been given to you. Because the people in the DBM are not in the front lines,” she added.
Garin earlier bared that around P10 billion would be cut from the DOH’s share in the 2020 national budget, even as the country faces a polio epidemic, as well as measles and dengue outbreak.
Garin, however, said that the budget cut would actually amount to P16.6 billion.
“Second, DBM was telling us there was poor utilization of funds. And that’s my point. Like, if there was poor utilization of rabies, there was a delay in procurement of the rabies vaccine. So much so that utilization was around 50 percent,” Garin stated.
“My point here is in that process, and I admire the new secretary of DBM (Wendel Avisado), because he was very much open to our suggestions. I was asking them if the problem is utilization, if you’re talking about family health and nutrition, then give that budget to DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) if DOH cannot implement it,” she stressed.
“I believe that the vacuum in the Department of Health stems from the fact that initially, every three months, people were being rotated right and left. Like every six months, officials whose expertise is already developed in that field were being rotated in other areas,” she added.
“My point is, if there is inefficiency in the bureaucratic processes, if there are problems on how managers handling the department, why will the people have to suffer? /gsg
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