Press Release
September 16, 2021

For 2022 proposed national budget
...but govt no money to build hospitals; cuts budget for health facilities

Senator Nancy Binay today questioned the proposal to allocate funds for the construction of media hubs amid budget cuts to various hospitals in the country in the proposed 2022 national budget.

"Sa gitna ng kakulangan ng kapasidad ng mga healthcare facilities natin dahil sa lumalalang kaso ng Covid-19 at budget cut sa maraming ospital, hindi tama na may mga 'big-ticket' construction projects para sa mga hindi naman pressing priority. We should be building hospitals, not media hubs," Binay said.

The senator questioned how essential the Visayas Media Hub that the Presidential Communications Operations Office plans to construct is in efforts to curb the pandemic.

The agency is asking P200 million in Capital Outlay in its proposed budget for next year for the hub's construction in Mandaue, Cebu.

Last December, the agency launched the Mindanao Media Hub in Davao City, for which P340 million was spent on the building while P408 million was spent for equipment.

Binay said that such projects should be deferred until the pandemic is under control.

"While we do not dismiss the value of these hubs, we have increasingly diminishing resources which we should dedicate towards our fight against Covid-19. Our people's lives and health should be given top priority right now over anything else," the lawmaker said.

"Sana ang mga ganitong construction projects na hindi urgent, ibuhos na lang natin sa mga ospital na nabawasan pa ang alokasyon imbes na dapat dagdagan," Binay added.

Seventy-six public hospitals are bound to suffer from the meager P157 billion allocated to the Department of Health's Office of the Secretary under which these are listed, she said.

Around nine major government hospitals have also had their maintenance and operating expenses (MOOE) budgets slashed.

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