MANILA - The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has agreed to restore P9.2 billion in the Department of Health's (DOH) proposed 2020 budget as polio, a disease preventable via vaccine, has reemerged in the country, the health chief said Tuesday.
In an October 28 meeting, the DBM "agreed to restore cuts" to enable the DOH to retain 26,000 doctors, nurses, medical technicians and health workers in health facilities supervised by local government units (LGUs), Health Secretary Francisco Duque III told ABS-CBN News.
"Of course, with what's happening now, kailangan talaga ng LGU 'yung resource (the LGUs really need the resource)," he said.
"Our immunization program is really quite a challenge because we want to achieve a 95-percent coverage and we will need human resource to run, promote, and educate people about the program," he said.
Philippine immunization coverage dropped to 70 percent in 2018 due to the Dengvaxia vaccine scare, supply shortage and difficulty in accessing hard-to-reach areas, a study conducted by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) showed.
Former Health secretary and now Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin earlier said the DBM slashed the proposed DOH budget by P16.6 billion.
The health department was unable to defend its budget before the DBM and only accepted what it was given by the budget department, the lawmaker earlier alleged.