Health infra gets a measly 1% allocation from 2022 budget
MANILA, Philippines — Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas on Tuesday said that while the country continues to grapple with the impact of the pandemic, only 1 percent will be allocated for health infrastructure in next year’s budget.
Under the 2022 National Expenditure Program (NEP), only P12.58 billion will go to the capital outlay of hospitals and health centers, a mere 1 percent of the total P1.18-trillion 2022 infrastructure budget.
The proposed budget will earmark P1.474 trillion or 29.3 percent of the national budget to the economic services sector.
The Department of Budget and Management said a huge part of the funds would go to the administration’s flagship projects under the “Build, Build, Build” program.
“We are seeing how our hospitals are being stretched to their limits due to the worsening COVID-19 surge, and yet the Duterte administration still chose to overwhelmingly prioritize road networks and other structures over health-based infrastructure for next year,” Brosas said in a statement.
While health-based infrastructure will get P12.58 billion, Brosas said road networks would receive P392.86 billion while P35.47 billion will be for right-of-way payments for clearing activities alone.
In a separate statement, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said the P5.024 trillion national budget for next year must be scrutinized and not railroaded if the House of Representatives wants to pass the NEP before October.
“We cannot sacrifice the quality of analyzing it even if they submitted it just yesterday (Monday) because it will mean surrendering outright Congress’ power of the purse,” he said.
House appropriations chair Rep. Eric Yap on Monday said the House leadership would ask President Duterte to certify as urgent the passage of the 2022 budget, adding that the chamber would pass the budget on or before Sept. 30 before it takes a session break in October.
But Zarate demanded a close scrutiny of the budget, saying that there were various issues hounding the national budget, especially during this pandemic. INQ
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