Over P29B earmarked for purchase of drugs, vaccines in DOH’s 2022 budget

Over P29 billion has been earmarked for the purchase of drugs, medicines, and vaccines in the proposed budget of the Department of Health (DOH) for 2022, the National Expenditure Program (NEP) showed.

The NEP indicates that P29,966,503,000 from the DOH’s proposed budget “shall be used for the procurement of drugs, medicines, and vaccines, including medical and dental supplies for distribution to government healthcare facilities.”

“Of [the] said amount, 80% shall be allocated to provinces where the incidence of diseases is high,” the document read.

The DOH was also authorized to make a deposit or advance payment to purchase drugs and vaccines that are not locally available through the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and other similar international organizations or financing institutions.

In its 2020 annual report, the Commission on Audit had flagged the DOH over P95.15 million worth of expired or near-expiry drugs, medicines, and medical supplies, which was described as a “recurring problem” of the agency.

The DOH maintained that this issue had been “mostly resolved,” with most of the said equipment and supplies already being used by hospitals.

Meanwhile, over P19.47 billion was appropriated for the implementation of the Health Facilities Enhancement Program.

The funds will go to the “construction, upgrading, or expansion of government health care facilities and purchase of hospital equipment… including the upgrading of facilities for COVID-19 response and equipping and construction of ongoing projects.”

Malacanang earlier announced that the country had allocated more than P240 billion for the government’s COVID-19 response in the proposed 2022 budget.–AOL, GMA News

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