SWP questions budget cuts in the 2020 health budget in light of impending UHC implementation | SWP Press Release 4 Oct 2019
SOCIALWATCH PHILS·SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2019
In light of the current news that PhP10B or more will be cut from health in the 2020 national budget, Social Watch Philippines (SWP) and its member organizations are seeking an explanation from the Department of Budget and Management and the Department of Health. The Universal Health Care (UHC) Act, a hallmark law that promotes equitable and inclusive health for all Filipinos, was recently passed into law and is slated to be implemented in 2020. SWP Co-Convenor Dr. Maria Victoria Raquiza asks, “The implementation of the UHC law means increased health services which therefore implies the need to increase the health budget. As such, why are we cutting the budget of health? In fact, should we not increase it for 2020?”
In its position paper on the UHC, SWP Alternative Budget Initiative (ABI) - Health cluster emphasizes inclusivity in the vision of the UHC, “Kahit sino ka man, kahit saan ka man, kailan pa man, may kalidad na serbisyo pangkalusugan para sa lahat tungo sa buhay na may dignidad!” (Whoever you may be, wherever you may be, whenever it may be, quality health services must be available for all to achieve a life with dignity!)
“Let this vision be our guide in implementing the Universal Health Care,” Dr. Raquiza adds. “Ito ang pinaghirapan natin sa health cluster. As a response, we should take care of our health, our well-being, with our neighbors and families. No one should be left behind. Everyone, especially the vulnerable sectors, must be accounted for.”
SWP on 19-21 September 2019 made this call in its workshop, “Mainstreaming People’s Participation in the National and Local Planning and Budgeting Inter-linkages Towards a People-Centered Universal Health Care (UHC) Implementation”. The 3-day workshop sought to empower its participants--representatives from civil society organizations (CSOs), youth, and persons with various disabilities--to engage in the national and local levels on planning, budgeting, audit, and advocacy communications, in view of the implementation of the Universal Health Care Act
Social Watch Philippines (SWP) is a network of over a hundred civil society organizations and individuals engaged in research and lobby efforts in holding the government accountable for the fulfillment of national, regional and international commitments to eradicate poverty and carry out social, economic, and gender justice. SWP promotes people-centered sustainable development by proactively monitoring the progress and delivery of social commitments forged by the government and influencing the outcomes of policy decisions through citizen's participation in public finance.