SENATOR JV Ejercito has described the P3.757-trillion 2019 national budget as a "pro-health" budget that would buttress the government's health programs.
Ejercito, author and principal sponsor of the Universal Health Care (UHC) measure, issued his description following the legislature's ratification of the 2019 General Appropriations Act measure Friday night.
"I consider this budget as a 'pro-health' budget because it carries the funds for the Health Facilities Enhancement Program, or HFEP, and Human Resource for Health Development (HRHD), both under the budget of the DOH (Department of Health)," he said in a statement.
Ejercito, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, had fought for the restoration of the more than Php16-billion HFEP budget and the almost Php8-billion HRHD allocation into the national budget after they had been slashed from the budget bill.
The HFEP and the HRHD are both programs that will ensure the wide delivery of quality, affordable and accessible health services to the Filipinos.
"I'm happy for our people because of the return of the HFEP and HRHD funds. The more than Php16-billion HFEP budget will be used for the improvement, upgrade, and expansion of gov't hospitals and health facilities, some are nearing completion already, and for their equipment. Another Php7-billion for Human Resource for Health Development para 'yun sa suweldo and augmentation ng health workers, nurses, midwives, and doctors," he said.
He said the facilities would ensure the smooth implementation of the UHC measure, which includes all Filipinos in the National Health Insurance Program as well as brings down to an affordable level the people's expenses on health services, including but not limited to, check-ups and selected laboratory procedures.
The UHC is now for President Duterte's signature for it to become a law.
He added: "Kung hindi naibalik ang mga pondong ito, aba'y matetengga ang mga health units natin at marami ang mawawalan ng trabaho dahil walang pangsuweldo sa kanila ang gobyerno."
Source: Senate of the Philippines