Two senators—JV Ejercito and Paolo Aquino—have questioned the decision of the Department of Budget and Management to cut the budget for 2019 of the Department of Health and the Department of Education.
Ejercito warned the decision to cut the Department of Health budget would adversely affect the delivery of health services for the Filipinos – and he vowed to oppose it.
“The Senate will not allow budget cuts for health programs,” said Ejercito, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health.
As this developed, health workers denounced budget cut that would result to possible removal of 15,000 health workers.
“The Alliance of Health Workers and Aksyon Health Workers, strongly condemned the budget cut being implemented by the DBM for 2019 in which around 15,000 health workers will be removed from the service because of budget cut,” it said.
Aquino himself questioned the DBM 90-percent budget cut of the Department of Education for construction of classrooms from P116 billion to just P10.2 billion.
Aquino who presided over the hearing of the DepEd’s budget as vice chairman of the Committee on Finance considered the DBM’s move as negligence “since the education of our children should be a priority of the government.”
He said the amount earmarked by the DBM was enough to build just around 4,000 classrooms.
“Originally, the DepEd asked DBM for funds to build around 47,000 classrooms for 2019,” he said.
“The young students and the future of our country would pay for the wrong priority of the government,” warned Aquino, adding the welfare of students was more important than the government’s intelligence funds.
He said he would not allow that Filipino youth would “be deprived of funds that should be afforded to them.”
He suggested an increase of funding to around P15 billion for construction of 10,000 new classrooms in 2019, instead of just 4,110.
“Let s put the figure that they are capable of doing and finished them before the end of 2019,” said Aquino, with the assurance from concerned government agencies that the 10,000 classrooms would be finished by the end of 2019.