Press Release
November 17, 2021

Senator Pia S. Cayetano Highlights of Opening Statement
Department of Health (DOH) budget interpellation

Mr. President, it is my honor to take on the herculean task of sponsoring the budget of the Department of Health and its attached agencies, including PhilHealth.

A country's people are their biggest resources. Thus, their health should be a priority. COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the gaps in our country's healthcare and response system. As we deliberate on our national budget, our vision should be geared towards closing these gaps.

Investments in healthcare should help us build back better, guided by the principles of sustainable development and futures thinking. This requires that we not only focus on addressing the current pandemic, but also focus and further strengthen primary healthcare pursuant to the principles of the Universal Health Care Law. These initiatives also form part of the country's commitments under the SDG 3, good health and wellbeing.

I know I am being repetitive when I keep on saying this. But I will continue to say it that as we deliberate on the budget, we must put ourselves in a time zone 20-30 years away from today and ask ourselves if we are being fair to the next generation. Our plans to address this current pandemic should also include plans for the future generation. That is the concept of "intergenerational fairness."

Now, for the actual budget breakdown, the budget of DOH, Office of the Secretary and its attached agencies and corporations for the fiscal year 2022 has a total budget of P312,312,370,000, which is a P44.961B increase from the GAB to the Senate version, broken down as follows:

- DOH, Office of the Secretary with total new appropriations of: P226,204,757,000 with an increase of P44.046B

DOH attached agencies and corporations include:
- National Nutrition Council with a total new appropriation of P478,079,000
- PH National AIDS Council with a total new appropriation of P34,992,000
- PH Health Insurance Corporation with a total new appropriation of P79,990,955,000
- Lung Center of the PH with a total new appropriation of P679,997,000
- National Kidney and Transplant Institute with a total new appropriation of P1,626,442,000
- PH Children's Center with a total new appropriation of P1,249,391,000
- PH Heart Center with a total new appropriation of P1,881,827,000
- We note that the budget of PH Institute for Traditional and Alternative Healthcare has been submitted last week.

We hope to continue to work with our colleagues in passing a budget that can respond to COVID-19 and at the same time, ensure that we continue to improve and future-proof our healthcare system, in preparation for possible new pamdencis, and for the general wellbeing of our people. I am now ready to accept questions. Thank you, Mr. President.

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