Legarda: There’s Sufficient Fund for ContraceptivesJanuary 12, 2016
Senator Loren Legarda, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, today further clarified the issue on the budget cut for the Department of Health’s (DOH) Family Health and Responsible Parenting (FHRP) program.
Legarda said that all documents of the Committee were available to the senators throughout the budget process and that the 2016 budget for family planning commodities or contraceptives is not zero.
“The Committee on Finance, in working on the 2016 national budget, has followed the same format, as in previous years, in submitting documents, including the Bicameral Committee Report on the 2016 GAB, to the plenary. The first page of the Bicameral Committee Report showed the changes in all agencies, including the DOH budget,” she said.
Furthermore, the one billion pesos cut is reflected in the amendment on the Special Provision on Purchase and Allocation of Drugs, Medicines and Vaccines, which includes allocations for FHRP.
The Senator also said that there are sufficient funds for the procurement of contraceptives for 2016.
“The DOH has enough budget to fund for family planning commodities for this year. The 2016 budget for FHRP was reduced by one billion pesos, but the budget for the procurement of contraceptives is not zero. There remains P1.6 Billion that can be used for this,” said Legarda.
She added that aside from the 1.6 Billion under the 2016 budget, there are sources of funds for family planning commodities.
“The commodities procured in the last quarter of 2015 will overflow until midyear of 2016. The DOH also has remaining unobligated funds for FHRP last year. Also, historical data shows the DOH is unable to completely spend its budget every year. These unused obligations or savings can be realigned within the agency as long as approved by the President,” said Legarda.
As of December 2015, unobligated funds under FHRP amount to P828 Million, which can still be used in 2016.
Moreover, based on historical data, the DOH-Office of the Secretary (OSEC) has savings every year. In 2012, unused obligations or savings of DOH-OSEC was worth P5.46 Billion (13.84% of its total budget); P7.578 Billion (16.03%) in 2013; and P9.2 Billion (16.54%) in 2014.
“Following this trend, possible savings of DOH-OSEC for 2015 could be P8.8 Billion, which is more than enough to cover the 1B pesos decrease,” said Legarda.
“As chair of the committee on finance and oversight committee on public expenditures, I can guide the DOH in constructing their work and financial plan for the whole DOH budget and especially the FHRP, to make sure not a single person is denied access to family planning commodities,” Legarda concluded.