Starting September 8, 2012, anonymous comments -- whether for or against the RH bill -- will no longer be permitted on this blog.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A redundant bill

On the redundancy of the RH Bill
by Willy Jose

A quick run thru of the DOH budget under GAA 2011 shows that there are already budgeted items that are supposed to cater to Maternal and Child Health as well as population development. These programs are already a mandate of the DOH under its Population Commission and Family Health Offices.

Some items as follows:

New Appropriations: Health Care Assistance: 3,539,809,000
Implementation of the Doctors to the Barrios and Rural Health Practice Program: 123,284,000
Commission on Population Programs: 290,660,000
Public Health Development Program: 117,797,000
Health Facilities Enhancement Program: 7,116,387,000
Service Delivery Programs: Family Health and Responsible Parenting: 731,349,000
Health Promotion: 153,978,000

TOTAL: (PESOS) 12,073,264,000

In addition, under Special Provisions, it is specified among other things:

- Allocation for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Programs of Hospitals. Five percent (5%) of the total amount appropriated for MOOE of all hospitals shall be allocated and used for specific programs/projects/activities for disease prevention and health promotion, including programs for itinerant family planning teams.

- Health Facilities Enhancement Program. The amount appropriated herein for Health Facilities Enhancement Program under A.III.b.6.c shall be used to enhance the capacity of primary health care facilities (Barangay Health Stations, Rural Health Centers) in the delivery of health services, upgrading of government hospital facilities from Level 1 to Level 2 and from Level 2 to Level 3, and augment the existing budgetary requirements of nationally funded hospitals in accordance with existing laws.

Thus we conclude that the DOH is at least funded by 12.07 Billion pesos which is already at its disposal to attend to family planning programs, child health, maternal health to include prenatal care, delivery attendance, and postnatal care. EVERYONE is concerned with improvements in those areas, and it is preposterous to claim that only the pro-RH bill advocates are concerned about them. The fact is that the DOH is already in a position do so much without requiring the introduction of new legislation. The mandate and structures are there, and as in any government agency - the challenge would be in the areas of efficiency, focus, administrative integrity, and of course: funding. If funding is the only problem, then the executive and legislative bodies are likewise already in a position to address those funding issues in a prudent and judicious manner. This goes without saying that any new legislative acts are not guaranteed of funding either - as our experience shows where many Republic Acts are passed but their implementation remain suspended due to budgetary constraints. Our experience also shows that a major factor that holds down our progress as a nation - over many, many years - is the dearth of administrative integrity on so many levels.


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