DOH insists budget is ‘pork-free,’ lists major allocations
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday insisted that its 2015 budget was “pork-free.”
“There is no truth to the claim of a lump-sum budget of P75.4 billion for the Department of Health,” said Health Secretary Janette Garin in a press briefing.
Garin issued the statement in response to claims of former Senator Panfilo Lacson that lump-sum or discretionary funds, seen to be corruption-prone, could still be found in the national budget for this year.
Lacson has placed the lump-sum appropriations at P424 billion.
According to Garin, the DOH budget for 2015 amounts to P87.6 billion, which is distributed as follows:
* P37.06 Billion as PhilHealth premium for the 14.7 million poor families: PhilHealth has an itemized list of members but it was not incorporated in the General Appropriations Act (GAA);
* Operation of 66 DOH hospitals amounting to P20.39 Billion: This amount is intended for maintenance and other operating expenses and salaries of DOH employees;
* Health programs to include vaccination control of tuberculosis, prevention and control of Human Immnunodeficiency Virus-Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV-AIDS), malaria, dengue, and rabies, maternal and child care amounting to P19.55 billion;
* Improvement of local health facilities such as barangay health stations, rural health units, local government hospitals amounting to P5.6 billion;
* Operation of 16 DOH regional hospitals at P3.73 billion: This amount is intended for maintenance and other operating expenses and salaries of DOH employees;
* 13 DOH treatment and rehabilitation centers at P0.64 billion;
* National Nutrition Council at P0.32 billion;
* Commission on Population at P0.31 billion.
“What we have as a lump sum is the Quick Response Fund amounting to P500 million. This is intended for calamities and disasters,” Garin explained.
She said that all the DOH budgetary allocations have been itemized in the 2015 GAA, including the target beneficiaries (identified populations, health facilities, etc.).
“In the spirit of transparency, the DOH is prepared to provide further breakdowns for the various budgetary items in the 2015 GAA and to clarify any misconceptions on the allocation and use of DOH funds,” Garin said.
“The DOH remains committed in attaining Kalusugan Pangkalahatan (Universal Health Care) of all Filipinos through the judicious use of every peso appropriated to it by Congress,” she added.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.