Politics

DoH needs P95B for pandemic response 

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PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS

THE DEPARTMENT of Health (DoH) needs P95 billion for its pandemic response next year, health authorities told a House of Representatives hearing. 

It was allotted only P24.49 billion for the purpose, Health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario S. Vergeire said. 

She said the agency needs to buy new vaccines against the original coronavirus strain and more contagious variants. 

“We are going to prepare to procure the new generation of vaccines and we might need additional funds,” Ms. Vergeire said, adding that they were already in talks with two manufacturers.  

The DoH has a proposed budget of P196.077 billion next year, 6.6% more than this year.  

Under the plan, P92.796 billion will go to maintenance and other operating expenses, P74.457 billion to personnel services and P23.991 billion to capital outlays. 

The Budget department in a statement last week said the budget cuts had to be made due to low cash use rates of the Health department. — Matthew Carl L. Montecillo