Press Release
September 9, 2020

Drilon hits decreased budget for public health

The Senate chief fiscalizer also scored the decrease in the budget of the public health sector.

Drilon emphasized that addressing public health is key to the country's economic recovery, citing the weakened consumer confidence due to the inability of the government to address the pandemic.

"We should be able to provide confidence to the public that we are indeed able to address the pandemic. People are afraid to go out today. We can have all kinds of stimulus but as long as there is no confidence on the part of the public, we will find difficulty recovering," Drilon said.

Hence, Drilon said substantial support for public health for next year is needed to address health issues brought about by the pandemic. But Drilon said the budget allocation for the health sector decreased to P131 billion for next year.

The adjusted budget of the Department of Health for 2020 stands at P153.1 billion, including the adjustments from Bayanihan 1, Avisado confirmed upon questioning of Drilon.

"I question the reduction of the DOH budget from the present P151 billion versus P131 billion for 2021. I find something wrong with this because we should recognize that our economic recovery depends on our ability to protect public health," Drilon said.

"We need to improve our testing, contract tracing and our ability to treat. How can we achieve this if we reduced the budget of the DOH? Of course, there are issues on the capabilities of the secretary of health today but that is beside the point. As a policy, we should increase the allocation for the health sector," he said.

"The 2021 budget does not adequately address the protection of public health," he added.

The minority leader also hit the lack of additional cash subsidies in the 2021 national budget to help the poor and the vulnerable families affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. He mentioned that direct cash subsidies such as the special amelioration program or SAP is not included in the next year's budget.

News Latest News Feed