Solons seek P1B addt’l budget for nat'l mental health program in 2021 | Inquirer News

Solons seek P1B addt’l budget for nat’l mental health program in 2021

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 11:09 AM September 23, 2020

People with no underlying mental health issues may feel overwhelmed during the pandemic and wonder why they are teary or heavy-hearted. PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO via The Straits Times

MANILA, Philippines — Lawmakers are seeking a higher budget for the national mental health program under the Department of Health (DOH).

Marikina Rep. Stella Quimbo and Quezon City Rep. Jesus Suntay filed House Resolution No. 1225, which seeks to allocate an additional P1 billion for the national mental health program.


Under the resolution, the lawmakers pointed out that the allocation for the National Mental Health Program was only P615 million, which is equivalent to P5.69 per capita.


Quimbo and Suntay said the budget is “grossly insufficient to respond to the mental health needs of the Filipinos, especially the Filipino youth.”

The lawmakers cited reports that the National Center for Mental Health recorded a spike in the number of suicide-related calls received by its mental health crisis hotline.

“There is a grave necessity for the expedient and adequately funded implementation of the National Mental Health Program to provide the needed medical, scientific, psychiatric, psychosocial and neurologic services to the Filipinos, especially at a time of distress caused by the current health crisis, large economic decline, and high unemployment rate, among others,” the resolution read.

In a press statement on Wednesday, Quimbo and Suntay said 134 lawmakers have so far expressed their intent to co-author the measure.

“Dahil sa lockdown, at risk ang marami sa breakdown. Kaya’t kailangan kasama ang dagdag na pondo para sa mental health programs sa COVID-19 health response ng gobyerno,” Quimbo said.

(Because of lockdown, many people are at risk of having a breakdown. That is why it is imperative that the mental health programs of the government’s COVID-19 response be given additional fund.)


“Hindi po katanggap-tanggap na sa dami nang nangangailangan ng tulong sa kanilang mental health dulot ng pandemya, kakarampot lang ang nailaan sa programang ito,” Suntay said.

(It is hard to accept that despite many affected people needing help for their mental health situations due to pandemic, the program is getting a measly share of the budget.)

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TAGS: mental health, program, Quimbo, Suntay

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