• DBM releases P2.8B to improve health facilities

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    The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released P2.8 billion to boost the country’s public health care system by improving public health facilities.

    In a statement over the weekend, the DBM said that the fund was released to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for the implementation of the Health Facilities Enhancement Program (HFEP) under the Department of Health.

    The fund release was charged against the DPWH budget in the 2013 General Appropriations Act.

    The agency explained that the HFEP seeks to upgrade the infrastructure and equipment of government health facilities across the country, targeting a total of 512 regional health units (RHUs), 363 barangay health stations (BHSs), 147 district hospitals and 20 provincial hospitals.

    Activities under the program include the preparation of architectural and engineering designs, as well as the construction, repair, and upgrade of the said hospitals and health centers nationwide.

    The DBM added that the program also aims to upgrade priority BHSs and RHUs to provide basic and comprehensive emergency obstetric and newborn care services for the reduction of maternal mortality.

    This is in addition to upgrading BHSs and RHUs to enable them to accommodate nursing students and provide hospital-grade services, thus decongesting major government hospitals, it said.

    “With the construction, development, and rehabilitation of hospitals and rural health centers, we can also help families gain greater access to quality health care and emergency services from all points in the country,” said Budget and Secretary Florencio Abad.

    Abad said that the benefits of the fund release are two-fold: the government can now respond better to the urgent health care needs of Filipinos across the country, all while pushing for the development of critical infrastructure.

    “We’re optimistic that this approach to public expenditure—where social services and economy-driving activities are given ample budgetary support—will help bring inclusive growth to the country, where the Administration’s brand of good governance will create real and direct benefits for all Filipinos,” Abad added.

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