Reduce DENR budget to fund National Children’s Hospital – Tulfo
(Updated to reflect new headline)
MANILA, Philippines—Senator Raffy Tulfo, lamenting the dismal situation of the National Children’s Hospital (NCH), recommended on Monday reallocating P2 billion from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to improve the NCH in 2023.
Tulfo, in particular, said he wants to slash the P12 billion allocation for the office of the DENR Secretary.
“Pagdating po sa period of amendments, I will request na bawasan po ang budget ng DENR na meron pong P12 billion ang Office of the Secretary. At P2 billion doon ay akin pong ilalakad at ilalaban na mai-transfer po sa National Children’s Hospital na mas nangagailangn ng tulong,” he said in a privilege speech.
(During the period of amendments, I will request to reduce the budget of the DENR, which has P12 billion for the Office of the Secretary. In addition, I will push and fight for the transfer of P2 to the National Children’s Hospital.)
The Senate ended floor deliberations on the P5.268 trillion national budget proposal for 2023 last week and it is now up for a period of amendments.
“Inulit ko po, ipaglalaban ko po na bawasan ang budget ng DENR na para sa akin ay maraming pagkukulang…” he said.
(I repeat, I will fight to cut the budget of the DENR, which for me, has many shortcomings.)
Tulfo earlier alleged that some DENR officials are conspiring with illegal miners.
“So P2 billion po ang dapat mabawas sa DENR at ‘yan po ay mai-transfer sa National Children’s Hospital na mas nangangailangan po ng tulong dahil dito po ‘yung mga inonsenteng anghel na dapat nating matulungan sa perang ‘yan,” the senator also said.
(So P2 billion should be reduced from DENR and transferred to National Children’s Hospital, which desperately needs help because the innocent angels are there and they need that money.)
Photos of the hospital, including ones showing smashed windows and crowded rooms, were shown as Tulfo spoke.
Because of a lack of manpower, Tulfo said some patients must wait three years to get a therapist.
“Three years, tatlong taon. Isa pong buong cycle po ‘yan ng Kongreso. Tatlong taon maghintay ang isang pasyente bago ho s’ya makatikim ng herapy dito po sa National Children’s Hopsital,” he stressed.
(Three years, that’s one entire cycle of Congress. So a patient must wait for 3 years before receiving therapy in the National Children’s Hospital.)
He also said that the hospital’s treatment room is cramped, so parents are told to continue their children’s therapy at home instead of bringing them in twice or thrice weekly.
“Kung nakikita ‘nyo po ‘yan, halos kalahati lang po ‘yan ng public CR po natin sa Senado,” Tulfo lamented while showing a photo of the therapy room at the hospital.
(If you see that, that’s just almost half of our public CR in the Senate.)
Tulfo claimed that the hospital’s facilities are inadequate in addition to its staffing problems.
“The building is dilapidated. Ang mga pantakip nila si bintana ay plywood, basag-basag po ‘yung mga bintana at plywood po ang pantakip. Pwedeng pasukin ng alikabok, usok at lamok, at napakainit po ng mga kwarto, walang tamang ventilation. Imbes na gumaling ang mga bata, mas lalo pa silang magkakasakit,” Tulfo said.
(The building is dilapidated. They use plywood to cover the broken windows. Dust, smoke, and mosquitoes can enter the room without ventilation. Instead of getting better, the children could become sicker.)
The senator then called on his colleagues to support his advocacy by providing a supplemental budget to NCH.
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