MANILA – Around PHP13 billion has been allocated in the proposed budget of the Department of Health (DOH) for the government’s coronavirus disease (Covid-19) response efforts and health system resilience programs for next year.
During the hearing of the House Committee on Health on DOH’s proposed budget for 2021, Health Undersecretary Mario Villaverde said the PHP13.03-billion allocation for Covid-19 response would cover the procurement of Covid-19 vaccine for public health workers and senior citizens under the National Immunization Program at PHP2.5 billion.
Villaverde said it would also include the procurement of protective gears and Covid-19 cartridges at PHP3.7 billion; the operation of national reference laboratories at PHP290 million; the use of loan proceeds from World Bank and Asian Development Bank at PHP 5.26 billion.
“Foreign-assisted projects have been aligned to most of the capital investment for Covid-19. The improvement of reference laboratories, prevention, and control of other infectious diseases have been included from these foreign-assisted projects by the World Bank and ADB,” said Villaverde.
He said around PHP500 million will be allotted as a quick response fund to cover health emergency response activities and procure commodities and capital outlay projects, PHP286 million for the operation of blood centers, and PHP490 million to cover the Covid-19 warehousing, hauling, and brokerage expenses.
The total budget proposed for the DOH next year amounts to PHP127.29 billion, higher than this year’s appropriation of PHP100.56 billion. (PNA)