DBM explains budget for UP, PGH in 2023 spending plan

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 31 2022 09:25 PM

The facade of the Philippine General Hospital in Manila on May 5, 2021. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
The facade of the Philippine General Hospital in Manila on May 5, 2021. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA —The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on Wednesday explained the budget for the University of the Philippines (UP) system and the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) next year.

Under the 2023 National Expenditure Program, UP’s proposed budget is 9.8 percent lower than its 2022 funding, while the PGH’s allocation is 5.1 percent less than what it received this year.

Based on a copy of the National Expenditure Program for 2023 posted on the DBM website, the UP system gets a P21.85 billion budget, down from P24.39 billion in 2022 but higher than the P21.50 billion in 2021.

Of the 2023 figure, P10.86 billion will go to the higher education program, P1.3 billion is for the advanced education program, P747.45 million for the research program, P396.74 million for the technical advisory extension program, and P5.93 billion for hospital services.

The UP system runs the Philippine General Hospital. The UP system's Hospital Services Program had a budget of P6.3 billion in 2022. 

There is no budget allocation for capital outlay for hospital services next year. Capital outlay refers to expenses incurred for the construction or acquisition of new facilities. 

“‘Yung reduction na ito ito ay yung mga Congress-introduced changes and adjustments and mga non-recurring programs,” DBM Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said in a virtual press conference.

“Ibig sabihin, ito po yung mga one-time purchase like sa PGH kung bibili tayo ng mga equipment,” she said.

“One time lang po ito binibili, hindi po ito kailangan [bilhin] sa susunod na taon."

The DBM, in a statement last week, said the claim of budget cut for UP-PGH "is wrong, in a way, because they are comparing the 2023 National Expenditure Program (NEP) with the 2022 General Appropriations Act (GAA)."

"The seeming decrease of P2.5 billion in UP's budget in the 2023 NEP as compared to 2022 is attributable to the upward adjustments made by Congress in the 2022 GAA for various capital outlay projects and purchase of hospital equipment for the (PGH), which are one-time or non-recurring expenditures," it said.

While the proposed 2023 budget for the Philippines’ premier state university was lower than this year's, funding for the education sector as a whole in 2023 is at P852.8 billion, the DBM chief said.

The amount is P64 billion higher than the sector’s current budget allocation.

"Rest assured that the education sector shall remain as being the highest budgetary priority of this administration as mandated by the Constitution, with an 8.2 percent increase in the proposed FY 2023 NEP, at Php852.8-Billion," the DBM's statement last week read.