Press Release
August 10, 2011


Senator Franklin Drilon on Wednesday threatened not to report the proposed budget of the Health deparment if the Department of Budget and Management will fail to resolve the staffing problem in the Department of Health as a result of the former's reluctance to allow the hiring of administrative staff in the Health department.

Drilon, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, issued the stern warning after it was learned that the Budget department disallows hiring of an estimated 4,000 administrative and technical positions in the Health department.

"There is almost a criminal neglect. Right now, in all government hospitals, you will see a lack of staff. The problem, it turns out, is that the DBM would not allow filling up of positions in the DoH," he said, adding that holding up on the approval of the proposed P42.771 billion budget of DoH for next year is possible "to put pressure on the bureaucracy."

DBM representative Artemio Martinez confirmed during Wednesday's budget hearing that a freeze hiring is in place for administrative positions in the Health department, although he did not indicate the reason for such policy.

As such, he urged Budget Secretary Florencio "Butch" Abad and Health Secretary Enrique Ona to discuss the predicament of the Health department "for the sake of our health sector."

"I am asking the DBM that for the sake of our people, we cannot continue with this practice. This is something like a bureaucratic foul up. I would like to see this being resolved in 30-60 days," Drilon said.

In particular, Health officials led by Ona told the Finance Committee that "bulk" of the positions needed by the DoH is administrative and technical positions such as chief program officers. Based on the revelation, Drilon said that a total of P1 billion was allotted for hiring of unfilled positions in the DoH under the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund.

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