The Ministry of Health (MOH) has submitted a proposed budget for 2021 amounting to P5.120-billion, or about P2.050-billion (66.82%) higher than this year’s appropriations. Much of the increase is due to a 75% spike in funding for operations, which amounts to P2.094B or about 75.09% of the 2020 budget. 

Both budget subcategories under operations were granted additional funding. The appropriation for Access to Curative and Rehabilitation Health Service is 12.14% higher compared to the previous year. Under this subcategory, all target hospitals are set to receive additional funds, except for the Datu Blah T. Sinsuat District Hospital. The hospitals with the highest increase in budget allocations are the Marawi City Health Office (100% or P6.30-million), the Parang Iranon District Hospital (396.57% increase or P59.485M), the Parang District Hospital (61.21% or P34.51-million), and the Sumisip Municipal Hospital (115.25% or P6.77-million). 

But the bulk of the MOH budgetary increase was channeled towards Access to Promotive Health Care Service as it more than doubled for 2021, resulting to an additional P1.86-billion. About 20% of this additional funding amounts to a P379-million allocation for Covid-19 Response.

The budget for the Barangay Health Workers (BHW) Program also benefits from a significant increase in funds totaling P30.98-million. Under the special provisions, a huge share of this increase has been earmarked for financial assistance dedicated to Barangay Health Workers. There are also new programs introduced in the 2021 MOH budget, including the Tiyakap Bangsamoro Kalusugan Program, a Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (RESU), and a regional mental health program, among others.

With the increase comes budget cuts for other items, including allocations for Regulation, Licensing, and Enforcement Cluster and for the Family Health Cluster. Both suffered huge cuts amounting to P313-million and P418-million, respectively. The Integrated Communicable Disease Cluster and National Voluntary Blood Service Program are also left wanting for funds in the proposed 2021 budget.

As the MOH readies itself for additional Covid-19 response, the Ministry is also advised to also look into mechanisms that will ensure hospitals and health facilities can still accommodate non-COVID related illnesses. There is also a need to specify the source of funds for possible COVID vaccination, which may be integrated into the National Immunization Program or under the regional COVID response program.

This series of infographics is the sixth installment of the #BARMMBudgetWatch initiative of the Office of the Minority Floor Leader.