Press Release
July 16, 2012

DoH, Philhealth to face oversight panel, says Drilon

The Department of Health (DoH) and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) will face scrutiny of a congressional oversight committee tomorrow ahead of submission of the 2013 proposed national budget, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Franklin M. Drilon announced today. Drilon said he and House Committee on Appropriations chairman Joseph Emilio A. Abaya have scheduled a committee hearing with the Department of Health on Tuesday 9 o'clock in the morning to update them on the status of their appropriations and programs and projects.

"As the examiners of the budget, we are taking every opportunity to be able to scrutinize the budgets of our agencies, so that our people would get assurance that their hard-earned money are being used for programs and projects that benefit them," said Drilon.

Drilon said the DoH was allocated with P45.8 billion this year - number 7 among the agencies with the biggest budget allocations in 2012.

"This is consistent with the government's commitment to provide sufficient health care to all Filipinos," said Drilon, adding that the DoH and Philhealth have to work hard to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (UN MDGs), particularly in improving maternal health and reducing child mortality rates.

"We would like to hear from the two agencies if they have progressed in building the much-needed health facilities and in providing health insurance to the poorest Filipinos, consistent with the government's goal to implement the Universal Health Care," said Drilon.

Universal Health Care (UHC), also referred to as Kalusugan Pangkalahatan (KP), is the provision to every Filipino of the highest possible quality of health care that is accessible, efficient, equitably distributed, adequately funded, fairly financed, and appropriately used by an informed and empowered public.

Likewise, Drilon will look into the developments in the implementation of the National Health Insurance Program which was allocated P12 billion in 2012 to cover the premium subsidy for 5.2 million indigent households. The program is being implemented by the DoH and Philhealth.

Both Drilon and Abaya chair the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Public Expenditures that is created to review and evaluate the expenditure programs of all government agencies and assess effectiveness and impact of government activities, programs and projects.

Last week, the joint congressional panel scrutinized the P39-billion conditional cash transfer program being implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development. In the said hearing, Drilon has asked Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman to reduce the program's administrative cost to about 7 percent from 10 percent.

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