Gov’t allots higher budget for health facilities improvement – DBM

By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos

February 28, 2024, 11:30 am

<p>Facade of the San Lazaro Hospital in Sta. Cruz, Manila <em>(File photo)</em></p>

Facade of the San Lazaro Hospital in Sta. Cruz, Manila (File photo)

MANILA – There is an increase in this year’s budget for the improvement of the health facilities in the country, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said Wednesday.

In a statement, the DBM said around PHP28.58 billion has been allocated under the 2024 General Appropriations Act for the Department of Health’s implementation of the Health Facilities Enhancement Program (DOH-HFEP).

The DBM said the amount is higher by 6.6 percent from the PHP26.81 billion earmarked in 2023.

Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said the increased allotment is a testament to the strong commitment of the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to healthcare reform.

She emphasized that continued support for the HFEP is crucial in attaining Marcos’ dream to transform the country into a “Bagong Pilipinas” (New Philippines) where Filipinos have access to quality primary health care.

“As the President said in his last SONA, we are increasing our public health facilities both in number and in capability. And so, we will ensure that this program will get a much-needed support,” Pangandaman said.

"Naintindihan po natin na maraming Pilipino ang umaasa sa mga pampublikong ospital at pagamutan (We understand that many Filipinos depend on public hospitals and centers), that’s why it’s important that our health facilities are prepared and equipped to cater to the needs of our kababayans (fellow countrymen),” she added.

The total allocation for the HFEP will be used for the construction, upgrading, or expansion of government healthcare facilities nationwide.

The budget will also be used for the purchase of hospital equipment and medical transport vehicles.

Under the program, Universal Health Care (UHC) sites and Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDAS) will be given priority.

The HFEP also aims to upgrade essential facilities for robust response measures to coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) and other future public health emergencies that may arise, equipping, and facilitating ongoing project construction. (PNA)