MANILA, Philippines - Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile wants to slash the Department of Health’s (DOH) P388-million budget for family planning.
He said approving it may mean the Senate has already accepted the 6 reproductive health bills (RH) now pending at the House of Representatives.
"I don't want any argument against us that we have already accepted. I might have to cut that,” he said.
In its 2011 budget, the DOH wants to spend P8 million for condoms, P280 million for pills, and P100 million for injectibles.
"They can restore the family planning measure if they want, in some other ways, but we will not include it in the budget," Enrile told reporters. "We can use the P400 million in some other things."
He clarified, however, that this does not mean the Senate is already rejecting the RH bills.
"We just don't want the implication that we have already accepted that policy here since this is going to be debated. It is coming to us as a major issue," he explained.
“They can restore the family planning measure if they want, in some other ways, but we will not include it in the budget,” Enrile said.
He said the DOH can use the P400 million in other projects such as augmentation of the needs of some hospitals.
“Pati 'yung amount for malaria… at saka 'yung filariasis at 'yung leprosy. They have P580-million, but for dengue, they have only a little over P200-million,” the Senate president said. “I was asking them, why? There were more people that suffered dengue in one year than the others that were mentioned, the four diseases that were mentioned in that item.”
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