SENATE Minority Leader Franklin Drilon secured a total of P4.8 billion funding for the upgrade of 9 hospitals in the country for 2022.
Drilon’s swift intervention compelled the Department of Budget and Management to fund the upgrade of these hospitals in the 2022 General Appropriations Act. The DBM committed to include the funding in the Health Facilities Enhancement Program or HFEP for 2022.
“The funding of these hospitals will be hanging in the air if there’s no specific appropriation cover. We recognize the need of these hospitals especially during this pandemic. Hence, we insisted that funding should be included in the measures,” Drilon said.
Without specific appropriation cover, Drilon said there is always a possibility that the measures will add to the growing list of unfunded laws in the country.
Sen. Christopher Go’s committee report failed to address the funding woes.
Drilon proposed P8 million for the Lying-In Clinic in Rizal, Palawan, P200 million for the capital outlay of the Naguilian Hospital in La Union, P200 million for the Rosario District Hospital in La Union, P200 million for the Sinait District Hospital in Sinait, Ilocos Sur, and P600 million for the capital outlay of the Bacolod City General Hospital in Bacolod City.
Drilon also proposed funding for the establishment of various DOH hospitals. These include P900 million each for Eastern Pangasinan Regional Medical and Trauma Center in Rosales, Pangasinan, Davao Occidental General Hospital in Davao Occidental, Senate President Neptali Gonzales in Mandaluyong, and Medina Extension Hospital in Misamis Oriental.
The Senate adopted all of Drilon’s amendments especially the much-needed funding for the upgrade of the hospitals.
“Otherwise, these will become unfunded mandates. It will be just a lip service if we pass this without corresponding appropriation,” he added