Health budget for 2022 must be 10 pct of GDP: health workers

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 21 2021 02:46 PM

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MANILA – The Department of Health’s (DOH) budget for 2022 must be 10 percent of the Philippines’ gross domestic product (GDP), a group of health workers said, as they lamented how there were no funds for their special risk allowance (SRA) in the 2022 budget.

“Sana mabigyan ng prayoridad ng ating gobyerno at maibigay na talaga ‘tong mga benepisyong ito at taasan ang budget pangkalusugan para naman, next year dahil may pandemya, dapat ang panawagan natin, ibigay ito nang 10 percent doon sa gross domestic product para mabigyan talaga ng prayoridad ang kalusugan,” Alliance of Health Workers president Robert Mendoza said.

“Ang budget natin for 2022, pinapakita ng ating gobyerno, rank number four ang ating Department of Health pero totally, kung titingnan po natin, 33 percent doon sa budget ay PhilHealth, P79.9 billion.”

“Pero ‘pag tinanggal mo yung PhilHealth doon sa budget ng DOH, pangpito lang ang Department of Health talaga sa lahat ng ahensya,” he said. 

(We hope the government can prioritize the release of these benefits and increase the health budget for next year. We hope that next year, while we are still fighting the pandemic, we can increase the health budget to 10 percent of the GDP.)

(The 2022 budget shows that health is government’s fourth highest priority, but 33 percent of the Health department’s budget is the P79.9 billion for PhilHealth. If you remove that, the Department of Health only has the seventh biggest budget.)

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III has said that there were no funds for the SRA in the 2022 budget, since it was lodged under the proposed Bayanihan 3 bill. 

The Bayanihan 3 bill has been approved by the House but remains pending in the Senate.

“Talagang nakita natin na talagang hindi prayoridad ng ating gobyerno, ng Department of Health ang kapakanan at kalusugan at welfare ng ating mga health workers,” Mendoza said.

“Ito yung nakita natin po ano, talagang hindi ginawan ng paraan ng ating Department of Health na dapat ma-budgetan po ito at sana, ipakita naman ng ating Department of Health na talagang meron siyang pangangalaga at pagkalinga ng ating mga health workers,” he added.

(We can really see that the government isn’t prioritizing the health and welfare of our health workers. They didn’t find a way to put this in the budget. We hope they will show that they care for health workers.)

Mendoza also lamented that about 80 percent of health workers have yet to receive the benefits and allowances they are entitled to for this year.

“Hanggang ngayon, marami nang perang inirelease ang sinasabi ng Department of Health, ilang milyon na yung ni-release pero hindi pa rin natin nakikita na natanggap na ito ng health workers, siguro nasa 80 percent ang mga hindi pa po nakatanggap,” he said.

“Kaya inaantay natin na kailangan maglabas talaga ng listahan ang Department of Health kung sino-sino na yung mga hospital na yan ang nakatanggap kasi wala tayong nakikitang ano, datos eh.”

(The DOH has said they have released millions in funds, but about 80 percent of our health workers have not received their allowances yet.)

(We hope DOH will release a list of hospitals that have received these allowances because we haven’t see any data.)

Mendoza added: “Sana, within this day, dahil may hearing naman ang Blue Ribbon Committee, makahingi tayo ng kopya sa Department of Health ng mga listahan kung sino-sino na po yung nakatanggap.”

“Kasi karamihan sa ating mga health workers, lalo na yung sa mga (local government units) ay nagsasabi pa rin na hindi po sila nakatanggap ng SRA, ng meal accommodation and transportation at hazard duty pay.”

( We hope the Department of Health can show us a copy of those who have received their benefits. Because many of our health workers, especially those in local government units, have yet to receive their SRA, meals, accommodation and transportation allowances, and hazard duty pay.)

--Teleradyo, 21 September 2021