Given the 1.8 million yearly increase in population, the country still largely ignores the health sector, coughing up about 3 percent of the public spending for health—a mere P3 for every P100 budget.
Oscar Picazo, Philippines Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) senior health research consultant, told reporters that the country only designates “about 3 percent to 3.5 percent” of the gross domestic product (GDP) in the health sector, still below the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommended 5-percent GDP allotment for health.
Rafaelita Aldaba, PIDS Vice President, said that emerging countries like Brazil invest 7percent to 8 percent of their public spending in educational training and health.
Meanwhile, Irma Asuncion, Department of Health (DOH) director for the National Center for Disease Prevention and Control, said that they are on their way to achieve the 5-percent GDP allotment in the health sector, possibly under the “leadership of Health Secretary Enrique Ona.”
“Hopefully under the leadership of Secretary Ona, because I think he has been successful in really negotiating the increase in the budget,” Asuncion said.
According to the Department of Budget and Management data, the DOH was allotted the highest raise for the 2014 budget, increasing 45.5 percent to 87.1-billion proposed budget for 2014 than this year’s 59.9-percent allotment.
In line with the increase in the budget for 2014, Asuncion noted that they will prioritize the “preventive and promotive aspects” and is hoping to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in health by 2015.