Friday, July 29, 2016

Albay local executive vows to increase health budget in Polangui town
By Mike de la Rama

POLANGUI, Albay, July 29 (PNA) -– Vice Mayor Herbert Borja of this town vowed to increase the budget for health to fully fulfill the implementation of all programs and services.

During the multi-sectoral forum organized by the Philippine NGO (non-government organization) Council and Welfare (PNGOCW) here, Borja told participants that the current budget for health is only P11.1 million with the P7.6 million devoted to personnel services, P1.6 million for maintenance and other operating expenses and the remaining P1.9 million for all health programs.

He said the budget is too small compared to what is being recommended by the Department of Health (DOH) to the local government unit (LGU). DOH had said the health budget of the LGU should be 15 percent of the total LGU budget per year.

“We need to prioritize health if we want to provide better health services to the people. At least we should have a realistic budget to be able to serve the 89,0001 people of Polangui,” said Borja.

He pointed out that the multisectoral forum, which is being conducted by the PNGOCW, is very timely because the Polangui Sangguniang Bayan (Municipal Council) will be properly guided in having proper budgetary requirements for health services, especially in the full implementation of the Reproductive Health Law.

PNGOC gets support from the foundation established by internationally renowned philanthropist-couple Bill and Melinda Gates. The latter deems PNGOC as her special project in Asia.

“Even President Rodrigo Duterte in his first State of the Nation Address made mention of the full implementation of the Responsible Parenthood (law) otherwise known as the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act,” said Borja.

In this case, he said the LGU must do something to provide the necessary health services so it could properly serve its constituents, especially those in isolated areas.

Borja added the Sangguniang Bayan is working along with the local chief executive to find other means to source out funds.

He however said local policies will be enacted soon so that funds could be given for the creation of the Polangui Reproductive Health Council and the local AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) Council.

The local official also hailed the consortium implementing the project which would ensure the advocacy on reproductive health would be sustained in both national and local levels. (PNA) LAP/GVR/MDR/CBD