San Juan Medical Center gets P369-M allocation
MANILA, Philippines — The San Juan Medical Center (SJMC) — a political flashpoint in last May’s heated battle for the city’s mayoralty — received the lion’s share of the social services allocation in the 2020 budget signed by Mayor Francis Zamora ahead of Christmas.
The public hospital received a P369.9-million allocation, up by P100 million from 2019, and got the biggest chunk among the social services sector.
Both Zamora and defeated mayoral bet Janella Ejercito Estrada had promised to shore up the failing SJMC during their campaigns.
Both candidates acknowledged then that equipment and staff were on dangerously short supply at the hospital, even though the administration prior had spent hundreds of millions of pesos in an effort to rehabilitate it.
“Ask any San Juaneño and they’d tell you a lot needs to change at SJMC,”Zamora had told the Inquirer during his campaign. “It’s just a Level 1 hospital. It’s the lowest of the low.”
The city budget overall increased by 23 percent from 2019, and social services got the largest portion with P1.09 billion, or 43.17 percent of the pie.
A statement from the local government said the budget had focused on “health, education, infrastructure and environmental programs.”
“As promised, we will provide our constituents a sound budget that works toward a ”˜Makabagong San Juan’ not just for a chosen few, but for all of us,”Zamora said. “We have already started making them feel the big transformation as early as July.”
Another big boost to health care came in the form of P140 million allotted to the city health department, which would go toward free medicine and other medical services.
This was an increase of about P24 million from the previous year.
The local school board also saw an increase of P50 million, bringing its total budget to P237 million for 2020.
The city said underprivileged students would also enjoy “several special programs earmarked by the administration to make sure their needs are provided.”
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