DOH: Funds for minor programs realigned for COVID-19 response
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) said on Thursday, June 4, that it only realigned the budget of its "minor programs" to aid the government's COVID-19 response.
During a virtual briefing on Thursday morning, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the agency did not touch its funds for priority programs such as immunization, HIV prevention, and family planning; as well as the budget allocated for tuberculosis drugs.
"'Yung mga minor programs or soft components ng mga programa lang natin ang ating ginawan ng pagde-delay para magamit natin ang pondo nila sa COVID-19 response (We're only delaying the implementation of the minor programs and soft components of the programs so we could use the funds for COVID-19 response)," Vergeire said.
The implementation of the affected programs would just be pushed back to 3rd or 4th quarter of the year, she said. These include technical assistance and the provision of trainings in regional offices.
Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act enabled the Duterte administration to discontinue some projects and reallocate appropriations of some budget items to respond to the crisis. (READ: Where did funds from 2019, 2020 budgets for coronavirus response go?)
The law is only effective until June 5. The Senate on Wednesday, June 3, approved Senate Bill No. 1564 or the second installment of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, which detailed measures that the executive should do to fight the pandemic. – Rappler.com