Senator Francis Pangilinan has questioned the supposed reduction of funds for government hospitals under the P4.5-trillion 2022 proposed national budget.
“Nasa pandemya tayo. Mag-iisang buwan na rin tayong nasa mga 20,000 ang new cases at nasa 150 pataas ang namamatay araw-araw dahil sa COVID[-19] (We are in a pandemic. It has been nearly a month since we recorded over 20,000 new cases at over 150 deaths daily due to the COVID-19),” Pangilinan said in a statement on Friday, September 17.
According to the legislator, among the government hospitals that suffered budget cuts were: Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC), by P823 million; Philippine General Hospital (PGH), by P130 million; Lung Center of the Philippines, by P100 million; Philppine Heart Center, by P28 million; and the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI), by P8 million.
“Diyan pa lang sa mga ospital na yan, mahigit P1 billion ang binawas. Bakit? Lalo pa’t pandemya? At bakit itong mga pagamutang ito ang sumasalo ng bulto ng mga nagkakasakit sa COVID (For these hospitals only, the reductions already amount to more than P1 billion. Why? Especially at a time of a pandemic? And why do these hospitals accommodate bulk of those who get sick due to COVID-19)?” he raised.
Pangilinan said he supports the call of health workers for the increase of the budgets of public hospitals for next year.
“Pipilitin nating maibalik sa dati o taasan ang budget ng mga public hospitals. Hahanapan natin ng pondo (We will work to restore or increase the budget of public hospitals. We will look for funds),” he vowed.
“Kunin natin sa mga overpriced na medical supplies na kitang-kita sa mga hearing ng Senate Blue Ribbon Committee (We can get it from the overpriced medical supplies which have been very clear from the hearings of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee),” Pangilinan said.
The Senate has started the committee deliberations on the proposed allocation for agencies under the executive department’s National Expenditure Program (NEP).