MANILA – A congresswoman is calling for a P50 billion increase in the Department of Health's budget to properly respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
Quezon 4th District Rep. Helen Tan, who chairs the House committee on health, said the agency’s proposed 2021 budget of P204 billion was not enough.
Only P2.5 billion was allocated for the purchase of vaccines against the novel coronavirus, she said.
Tan said the agency had to improve its data management and surveillance systems, which posed a problem at the onset of COVID-19 crisis.
“Early on or until now, we have a problem on reporting of cases on COVID,” she said.
Majority of the members in the lower chamber agree with augmenting DOH’s budget as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage, added Tan.
To date, the Philippines has recorded 346,536 coronavirus infections, with 6,449 fatalities.
The number of people who have recovered from COVID-19 were 293,860, which include mild and asymptomatic cases, and some 46,227 patients are still currently ill with the virus.