House hikes DoH budget to fight polio

September 26, 2019

TO prevent the resurgence of polio, the House of Representatives is augmenting the budget of the Department of Health (DOH) by at least P200 million for 2020.

This was confirmed by House Committee on Appropriations chairman Isidro Ungab, as the House collects and studies amendments to the proposed 2020 national budget.

“The DoH budget is augmented by P200 million only, to be distributed as follows: P100 million for the additional MOOE of the Nationa Center for Mental Health and P100 million for Quick Response Fund or QRF,” Ungab said in a text message.

He stressed the needed funds for the distribution of polio drops can be sourced from the QRF.

Deputy Majority Leader and Bagong Henerasyon party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy welcomed this development but emphasized that the needed funds to cover the entire polio vaccination is about P800 million.

“I was informed by Sec. Duque that they need at least P800 million for the three shots of polio vaccines for several regions including National Capital region. The additional funds can be of help and we will just look for other funding,” Herrer-Dy said in a weekly party-list forum in the House of Representatives.

After 19 years, the Philippines again has recorded polio cases in Lanao del Sur and Laguna.

Still  polio-free

According to Herrera-Dy, she was informed by the DOH officials that the World Health Organization (WHO) did not remove the Philippines from the list of polio-free countries because of the mild strain of polio.

“What hit the country recently is not a wild polio, but was only vaccine-preventable polio. We are glad we are still polio-free,” said Herrera-Dy, the governor of Rotary International 3780 which is actively helping the DOH in the distribution of polio drops for children below five years old.

However, the lady solon said there is no reason to stop the campaign against polio and urging parents to bring back the trust to vaccination program.