Press Release
April 17, 2007

Recto : Artificial family planning gets P150 M; natural family planning, P1 M in '07 budget

Funding for artificial family planning dwarfs allocation for natural family planning methods in the 2007 national budget , Sen. Ralph Recto said in the wake of a survey which showed nine in 10 Filipinos favoring modern family planning methods.

Recto said the 2007 General Appropriations Act allocates P150 million for artificial family planning and only P1 million for natural family planning .

The said funds are under the Department of Health's P11.4 billion budget for the year.

"Artificial beats natural 150 to 1 . That's what the budget says. This should silence critics that government is not spending a single centavo for modern family planning programs. Family planning has not been sterilized , "he said

Funding for natural family planning programs can , however, still be augmented by the P51.1 million allocation for "family health including population policy and primary health care initiatives" also under the DoH budget , Recto explained .

In all, there's "at least" P201 million for family planning in this year's appropriations, Recto pointed out, as he called for additional funding for natural family planning programs "to expand the menu of options." .

In contrast, funding for the prevention and control of dengue, leprosy, filariasis , rabies got only P53 million in this year's budget, Recto said .

To further underscore the "primacy" of family planning over other programs in the DoH budget of 2007 , Recto said tuberculosis control has an allocation of P154 million , less than what has been earmarked for population programs.

Recto, however , conceded that funding for "family planning TB, dengue , leprosy, in fact, for the whole of DoH itself is sorely lacking. "

"The DoH budget of P11.4 billion translates to a P128 annual per capita spending . Even if we use the P25 billion public health sector budget as basis, the P281 per Pinoy allocation for health is still measly, " he said .

To correct this, Recto said the P15 billion savings the government is sure to incur this year, when stronger peso and lower interest rates are forecast to cut debt service to P303 billion , should be used to augment health services spending.

A national poll conducted by Pulse Asia from Feb. 28 to Mar. 3 showed 92 percent of the 1,800 respondents favoring increased government budgetary support for family planning

Eighty nine percent said government should provide budgetary support for modern methods of family planning including the pill, intra-uterine devices (IUD), condoms, ligation and vasectomy ," Pulse Asia said in a press statement.

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