In the proposed budget, the epidemiology and disease surveillance program is set to receive P113 million in 2022. This is 33 percent lower than this year’s P158.6 million budget, and even way lower than the allocation set for this program before the pandemic.
“We must not endanger the lives of PLE takers over a 4-day face-to-face examination in the middle of highly unsafe conditions just so that they may be added to our health workforce.”
Described by the health department as “the first batch of fund transfers,” the P311.79-million ($6.2 million) SRA funds is a measly 2.6 percent of the unused P11.9-billion ($238.2 million) allocated for health workers’ Special Risk Allowance and Hazard Pay, which the Commission on Audit recently flagged.
Groups look into public spending, politicizing of gov’t programs amid pandemic response, looming elections
Various groups have called on the public to remain vigilant over public spending and the politicizing of government programs amid the still poor pandemic response and the looming national elections next year.
Health workers held a protest action today as they continue to assail how they were deceived by the Department of Health (DOH) when they were repeatedly told that there is no appropriated budget for their due pay and benefits.
Government workers demand accountability over rising deaths, assail irregularities in public funds use
Courage said that at the onset of the pandemic, they have called for free mass testing and treatment, provision of sufficient PPEs for frontliners, and rightful compensation of the health hazard faced by all public sector employees in the line of duty but were not met by the government.
“The Duterte administration should stop this drama. This is not helping the people in getting due social services at a time when the state of our health care system is worsening.”
“[The government’s] response now is no different from the 2nd ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) — impose a lockdown and hope transmission slows down.”
With the government’s inability to control the rise of COVID-19 cases in the country, community health advocates are up in arms over the government’s response that, for the last 500 or so days, mainly resorted to stricter lockdowns.
To identify close contacts up to third or fourth degree, community health advocates said that contact tracing has to rely on an already robust public health system which the Philippines does not have in the first place.
With President Duterte down to his last months in office, community health advocates say health spending is an election issue that must be addressed – a first step in undoing the sorry state of the country’s public health care under an administration that won with a promise of tapang at malasakit.