Palace: P240.7 B needed for COVID-19 response next year; biggest chunks go to DOH, DepEd

Published August 19, 2021, 12:48 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang said at least P240 billion would be required to fund the government’s coronavirus response efforts in 2022.

Workers belonging to the A4 priority group are inoculated with Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines inside a cinema-turned vaccination hub in a mall on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 (ALI VICOY/MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque made the statement as the country continued to experience a spike in cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In his press briefing on Thursday, August 19, Roque bared that a total of P240,747,386,000 worth of funding was needed for the fight against the pandemic based on preliminary data as of August 19, 2021.

Roque explained that the amount was just not yet final.

“Ito po yung nakasaad sa National Expenditure Plan. Pero ito po ay pwedeng baguhin, siyempre, ng Kongreso (This is what was in the National Expenditure Plan. But the Congress can, of course, change it),” he said.

“Pwedeng dagdagan, pwedeng bawasan (They can add to it, or they can deduct),” he added.

Of the said figure, P93.75 billion would go to the Department of Health (DOH), with P45.36 billion allocated for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccine booster shots.

The breakdown of the proposed DOH budget for COVID-19 response is:

  • Health Facilities Enhancement Program: P19.47 billion
  • Prevention and Control of Communicable Diseases: P819.3 million
  • Health Facility and Plan Development: P105.6 million
  • Assistance to Indigent Patients: P16.99 billion
  • Procurement and Supply Chain Management Service: P463.5 million
  • Health Information Technology: P368.2 million
  • COVID-19 Response Laboratory Commodities: P5.09 billion
  • COVID-19 HRH Emergency Hiring: P3.8 billion
  • Asian Development Bank Loan: P102.2 million
  • World Bank Loan: P1.18 billion

The Department of Education (DepEd) would be getting P99,196,628,000. This amount would fund the following:

  • Flexible Learning Options
  • Textbooks and Other Instructional Materials
  • General Management and Supervision – MOOE
  • Operations of Schools – MOOE
  • Computerization Program
  • Human Resource Development for Personnel in Schools and Learning Centers
  • Disaster Preparedness and Response Program
  • Government Assistance Subsidies
  • School-Based Feeding Program
  • Basic Education Facilities

A total of P33,629,475,000 would be allocated for the programs of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). Of the said figure, P22.33 was set for the agency’s Livelihood and Emergency Employment programs while the remaining P11.29 billion was for the welfare services of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

The government was eyeing P11,517,459,000 for the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Meanwhile, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) would be getting P1,278,170,000; the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) with P1,203,000,000; and the University of the Philippines (UP) System with P140,000,000.