The Church People Workers Solidarity said the proposed 2021 national budget is a glaring confirmation that Philippine health recovery is not a “priority” for the Duterte administration.
San Carlos Bishop Gerardo Alminaza, CWS co-chairperson, said this as he lamented that only a tiny fraction of the 2021 budget will be allocated for health.
CWS cited research group IBON which noted that the proposed budget prioritizes President Duterte’s Build, Build, Build, program, debt-servicing, and counter-insurgency over health and other social services.
“Infrastructure projects amounted to Php 1.1 trillion compared with only Php212.3 billion for health, Php454.1 billion for social protection, and Php5.1 billion support for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs),” said the group in a statement released Tuesday.
It said the proposed budget likewise prioritizes debt-servicing and military expenditure amounting to Php 740.6 billion while the budget for DOH is a measly Php131.7 billion.
CWS said IBON also added that while the proposed P212.3-billion health budget is bigger than last year’s allocation, “allotment for facilities enhancement, epidemiological surveillance, laboratories, research, information technology, and human resource capacity management, for instance, were all reduced night when the country’s public health system sorely needs a boost.”
According to CWS, such proposed national budget intensifies “social exclusion.”
“It does not guarantee adequate health care especially to the poorest of the poor and those severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Alminaza.
“This is evidenced by the burgeoning budget on infrastructure amid the worst health crisis and economic decline in the country’s history,” he added.
At a time when the county is hit by the worst health crisis and economic meltdown, Alminaza said the country needs to “prioritize health and social assistance to the most vulnerable sectors of society.”
He added:”Amid economic hardships and massive unemployment, the poor needed not only charity but also justice.”