Janette Garin, Iloilo first district representative and a former health secretary, on Tuesday pointed out that a defect in the system of the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Budget Management (DBM) created the huge cut in the budget for health services.
“It’s bad to say but I would blame, not really blame but they think it’s a system, a defect in the system, both DOH and DBM,” Garin said in an interview on ANC’s Early Edition.
“First, pinaglalaban mo kasi yung budget ng departamento, you just don’t accept what’s been given to you. Because the people in the DBM are not in the front lines,” she said.
Garin revealed earlier that the P98.6 billion share of DOH in the 2020 national budget would be slashed by about P10 billion despite polio, measles, and dengue outbreak in the country.
However, Garin also mentioned that the cut would actually amount to P16.6 billion.
“Second, DBM was telling us there was poor utilization of funds. And that’s my point. Like, if there was poor utilization of rabies, there was a delay in procurement of the rabies vaccine. So much so that utilization was around 50 percent,” she said.
“My point here is in that process, and I admire the new secretary of DBM (Wendel Avisado), because he was very much open to our suggestions. I was asking them if the problem is utilization, if you’re talking about family health and nutrition, then give that budget to DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) if DOH cannot implement it,” the Iloilo representative added.
She also noted that the job rotation is what also makes the DOH inefficient.
“I believe that the vacuum in the Department of Health stems from the fact that initially, every three months, people were being rotated right and left. Like every six months, officials whose expertise is already developed in that field were being rotated in other areas,” she stated.
“My point is, if there is inefficiency in the bureaucratic processes, if there are problems on how managers handling the department, why will the people have to suffer?”