SENATE Mintority Floor Leader Franklin Drilon warned yesterday that around 15,000 health workers may lose their jobs in 2019 due to the cut made by the Department of Budget and Management on the budget of the Department of Health.
“If we will just follow the proposed budget of the Department of Health, about 15,000 nurses and health professionals will lose their jobs,” Drilon said after grilling officials during the Senate hearing on the proposed P71 billion budget of the DoH.
At the hearing, Drilon questioned a representative from the Department of Budget and Management on the reduction of the budget of the DoH from P107.3 billion in 2018 to P71 billion in 2019, or a slash of P36.2 billion, particularly the outlay for health human resources deployment (HHRD) which was decreased from P9.59 billion in 2018 to P1.17 billion next year.
Drilon expressed alarm on the health department’s budget cut which he decried as an “injustice.”
“I have not seen in my 20 years in the Senate that a budget is slashed this much,” said Drilon. “This is injustice and I will not allow the budget to be passed unless this injustice is addressed,” Drilon added.
Public health service in far flung barangays from Batanes to Jolo will suffer when thousands of government nurses and other health personnel lose their jobs due to the budget cut, said Drilon.
Dir. Jane Abella, a representative from DBM, argued that the budget was just transferred to Miscellaneous and Personnel Benefit Fund (MPBF) pending a review by the department and the Commission on Civil Service.