Education, Infra Dev’t get biggest shares in proposed 2018 national budget

UNTV News   •   July 27, 2017   •   3455


MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has already endorsed to Congress the proposed national budget for next year.

P691.1 billion is the proposed budget for the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, state universities and colleges.

The Department of Public Works and Highways has a proposed budget of P643.3 billion.

A total of P1.097 trillion is intended to support the “Build, Build, Build” program of the government.

It aims to improve the mobility and connectivity in the country by building modern and economical transport system for the public.

A large portion of the proposed budget for the Department of Interior and Local Government will be used for law enforcement operations against criminality and illegal drugs; while around P900-million will be utilized for Oplan Double Barrel Reloaded.

Of the P164.3 billion intended for the Department of Health, P57.1 billion is for the National Health Insurance Program which will benefit the low income earners; the informal sector, senior citizens and Bangsamoro families.

The government has also allocated additional P25.7 billion fund coming from the proceeds of the tax reform package upon passage.

“Some P25.7 billion from the proceeds of tax reform package will cover the unconditional cash transfer. This is unconditional: 200 per month or 2,400 per year for the poorest 50 percent of the population, or the poorest 10 million households,” said Department of Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno.

Meanwhile, Secretary Diokno also believes that the proposed bill that seeks to rightsize government agencies under the executive branch will be passed into law before the year ends.

The official said this is a way for government to save from unnecessary expenses because of irrelevant government agencies.

“Five administrations . . . we have accumulated many people in government already and some of their functions are no longer useful . . . there are many agencies that we have identified that are duplicative in nature.  There are many task force created over the last 30 years.  This gives us an opportunity to once and for all clean up the government,” Sec. Diokno added.

This is one of the bills certified urgent by President Duterte during his SONA aside from the Tax Reform Bill, re-imposition of Death Penalty, National Land Use Act and others. – Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

DOH reiterates warning vs use of misting, fog machines as disinfectants

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 28, 2020

Misting and fog machines are still not recommended by the Department of Health (DOH) to be used as disinfectants to protect individuals from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The health department said there is no concrete evidence proving the effectiveness of such machines in killing the virus. Instead, these machines pose risks in further spreading the virus in the environment.

“The routine application of disinfectants to environmental surfaced by spraying or fogging in indoor spaces also known as fumigation or misting is not recommended for COVIID-19,” according to DOH Spokesperson Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire.

The World Health Organization (WHO) released a report in May stating that misting machines used as a disinfectant might result in skin irritation and difficulty in breathing. Fogging, meanwhile, may have negative environmental effects.

Iyan po iyong kasama sa sinasabing rekomendasyon ng WHO that it may cause harm, cause more harm than good (That is included in WHO’s recommendation), Vergeire said.

The health department reminded households to use the right amount of disinfectant directly on objects or any household items.

The DOH added it is better to wipe the surface with disinfectant instead of just spraying them. AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

Ombudsman suspends 5 DOH officials for delay in release of frontliner benefits

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 28, 2020

The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered a preventive suspension against five Department of Health (DOH) officials for the alleged delays in the release of frontliner benefits.

Ombudsman Samuel Martires signed the order on Tuesday (October 27) to preventively suspend for six months Health Undersecretary Roger Tong-an; Kenneth Ronquillo, Maylene Beltran, Laureano Cruz and Esperanza Carating.

The order is to prevent the officials from potentially tampering with documents or evidence while an investigation on the health department is ongoing.

The investigation was opened in June to look into the alleged delay in the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and other medical gears, alleged lapses that led to the rising number of health workers infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), inaction to the release of financial benefits for fallen medical workers, as well as confusing and delayed reports of COVID-19 cases in the country.

The DOH previously welcomed the said investigation and assured they will fully cooperate with the appropriate authorities. AAC

WHO solidarity trial in PH to begin in December—DOH

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 27, 2020

The solidarity trial of the World Health Organization (WHO) for potential vaccines against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Philippines and other countries will begin in December.

Department of Health (DOH) Spokesperson Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire said 150 to 200 will participate in the trial in 12 sites in the country.

Sa November kasi parang maguumpisa sa isang site and mag-follow na po iyong iba’t ibang clinical trials in the other countries including the Philippines by December of 2020 (The trial will begin in November in one site and it will be followed by other clinical trials in other countries including the Philippines by December of 2020), she said.

The Health Department also announced Interferon will no longer be a part of WHO’s solidarity trial. Vergeire reported the said drug did not reduce the mortality rate of COVID-19 patients.

Iyong gamot hindi na-reach objective (The medicine did not reach its objective),” she said.

The WHO has previously discontinued the use of hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir treatment after seeing no signs of effectiveness in treating COVID-19 patients.

Meanwhile, the WHO added two drugs for the therapeutics solidarity trial, which include Acalabrutinib that is used for the chemotherapeutic regimen of patients. AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)


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