Statement of Sen. Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance

January 8, 2016

“The cut of one billion pesos for the Department of Health’s (DOH) family health and responsible parenting (FHRP) was a source for the increases in other agencies, including for the Department of National Defense’s (DND) air assets upgrading, which is timely and equally important given the West Philippine Sea issue. Part of it was also used for the increase in the state universities and colleges (SUCs) budget. A portion of the one billion was realigned within DOH to provide for the health facilities and medical assistance to indigent patients. The decision to cut the allocation for FHRP was done after assessing its possible impact on the program. We took note that as of June 2015 the DOH status of funds showed that of the 3.27 billion pesos allocation, only 955 million pesos has been obligated or 29%. For the remaining 6 months, 2.3 billion pesos or 71% has yet to be obligated. The unused 2015 budget is still available in 2016 and the agencies may augment deficient items from their savings.