Health group scores “Euthanasia” like health budget in 2010
Manila, Philippines- If the 2010 national budget for health is a measure of government priorities, then the Arroyo administration is more interested in killing rather than saving Filipinos, an activist health group said on Friday.
In a press statement, a copy of which was obtained by The Pamalakaya Times, the Health Alliance for Democracy (HEAD) said the government is spending more for every bullet used by its military forces than for the health of every Filipino.
“By the Department of Health’s own admission, per capita allocation is only 252.49 pesos per Filipino per year,” said Dr. Geneve Rivera, HEAD secretary-general.
“This is 0.70 centavos per Filipino per day, much less than the amount spent per bullet of the standard M-16 assault rifle used by the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” she added.
Dr. Rivera claimed of the P1.541 trillion proposed national budget for 2010, the amount allocated for health is only P33.678 billion or 2.2% of the national budget. The Department of National Defense will be getting around P73.6 billion, which is more than twice the DOH budget.
Rivera asserted that throughout the last eight years, the Arroyo administration has consistently allocated 5% of its national budget to the DND, compared to the measly 1.8% average given to the DOH.
In fact, according to HEAD, government spending on health has consistently decreased while the DND budget has consistently increased. Despite the “bigger” figure of the DOH budget for 2010, its real or nominal value (after considering inflation) is only P22.715 billion, much less than its 2009 budget of P23.666 billion.
In essence, while the DND budget will increase by P8.6 billion in 2010, the DOH budget will actually decrease by P951 million!
“So while doctors and health workers struggle every day to save the life of poor Filipinos, the Arroyo government is spending more to find new and creative ways of killing them.” Dr. Rivera lamented.
“The preferential treatment given to the AFP in particular and the state security forces in general belie any claim by the Arroyo regime that it is upholding the health and life of Filipinos.”
“While public hospitals are wallowing in their state of neglect and disrepair all over the country, the government is relentlessly waging war in the countryside. Either way, Filipinos are dying. This is euthanasia on a national scale. This is ‘merciless’ killing.” ###