The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) issued a statement regarding the issue of massive layoffs of health workers in 2019 due to deep cut in Department of Health (DOH) budget next year.
DBM explained that the budget reduction is due to under-utilization of funds this year and in 2017, specifically pointing health department’s inability to fill in positions under the Human Resource for Health Development Program (HRHDP).
DBM also said that for 2019, proposed budget for HRH was lodged to a different fund to create new permanent and contractual positions for health workers. Read the full statement below:
DBM Statement on 2019 Department of Health Budget
The budget for the HRHDP, which allows government to contract the services of medical professionals, decreased by 6.18% or P594 million, from P9.6 billion in the 2018 GAA to P9.006 billion in the 2019 NEP.
Actual disbursement for HRH in FY 2017 was 77.44%, or P6.4 billion out of the P8.3 billion appropriations. This means the DOH was not able to fill all positions as funded in the GAA, and this serves as our basis for the marginal decrease in the budget of the HRH.
This should not result to job losses because you cannot cut what is not there to begin with. In this sense, the DOH even have a larger budget as we are giving them P9.0 billion compared to the P6.4 billion they actually utilized in FY 2017.
Furthermore, of the proposed 2019 amount for HRH, an amount of P7.8 billion is lodged under the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund (MPBF) for the creation of new positions — permanent and contractual — for health workers.
We wish to give our health professionals job security and full benefits for their service by funding permanent and contractual positions, not just Job Order arrangements. We are doing this to be able to deliver a higher standard of health service to the Filipino people.