Press Release
December 4, 2019

Senate approves 2020 nat'l budget on final reading; Bong Go thanks fellow senators for approving increase in health budget

Voting for the approval of the 2020 national budget, Senator Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go expressed his gratitude to his fellow senators for approving the requested budget increase for the Department of Health (DOH) and its attached agencies.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Chairman of the Committee on Finance and this body for adopting the much-needed increase in the health budget," Go said during the Senate regular session on Wednesday, November 27.

Stressing that public health should be a priority, the senator, chair of the Senate Committee on Health, added that he commends the approval of additional P7 Billion for the Human Resources for Health Deployment Program.

The additional funds will ensure the continued employment of health workers and allow DOH to augment, redistribute, and retain health workers in rural areas in the country.

Go also lauded the upper house for undertaking measures that would allow for the implementation of the Supreme Court decision upholding the validity of Section 32 of the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002. The section provides that "the minimum base pay of nurses working in the public health institutions shall not be lower than Salary Grade 15."

"Hindi na natin sila paghihintayin pa," Go remarked. "Magkakaroon na sila ng increase sa kanilang year."

Go also commended the approval of the budget increase for the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) which will allow for the gradual implementation of the Universal Health Care (UHC) Law next year. President Rodrigo Duterte signed UHC Law last February 20, 2019.

"I laud the increase in the budget of PhilHealth that would enable us to progressively realize universal health care in the country and ensure that all Filipinos are guaranteed equitable access to quality and affordable health care," Go said.

Concluding his manifestation, Go urged concerned government agencies to spend their funds properly, saying "I ask the DOH, PhilHealth and all our government agencies to ensure judicious and prudent use of public funds."

"I trust our agencies will institute reforms to improve their efficiency in spending their budgets," he ended.

The Senate approved on third and final reading the 2020 General Appropriation Bill with a vote of 22-0-0.

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