Sunday, September 18, 2011

P13.9-B allotted for poor Filipinos in 2012

MANILA, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Sept. 18, 2011) – Some P13.9 billion in fresh government funds are expected to benefit over 7 million, mostly poor Filipino families and children, said House Assistant Majority Leader Congressman Eduardo Gullas.

He said the fresh allocation is contained in the proposed P1.816-trillion General Appropriations Act for 2012, which the House earlier approved.

Gullas said the amount is more than three times the P3.5 billion that government is spending this year to subsidize the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (Philhealth) premiums of indigent families under the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction.

“We are counting on the enlarged coverage to provide a greater number of marginal families improved access to adequate health care services,” he said, adding impoverished households tend to become immediately distressed and suffer the most every time a member becomes ill and requires hospitalization or treatment.

“With the expanded Philhealth coverage and household savings from reduced healthcare costs, underprivileged families will be able to spend whatever little income they have to meet other basic necessities, particularly their daily food requirements,” Gullas said.

He said another P1.9 billion will also go next year to vaccinate 2.6 million children aged 0-15 months as part of the Expanded Immunization Program which is expected to further reduce infant mortality and morbidity due to diseases.

Congress recently passed the Mandatory Immunization Law for Infants and Children, or Republic Act 10152. Under the new law, he said the compulsory inoculation would cover the following vaccine-preventable diseases: tuberculosis; diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis; poliomyelitis; measles; mumps; rubella or German measles; hepatitis-B; and H. influenza type B.

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