Social services sector to increase by P54.4 B in 2012 budget

An August 5, 2011 press release by the Department of Budget and Management

Abad: Poverty reduction package to get annual budgetary boost

To reduce poverty incidence to 16.6 percent by 2016, the Aquino administration will not only constantly increase funding for its poverty reduction package but also ensure their tightly-knit implementation in 2012 and in the coming budget cycles.

Budget and Management Secretary Florencio B. Abad said the Social Services Sector will continue to corner the lion’s share of the budget, with 31.7 percent or P575.8 billion of the proposed P1.816-trillion budget for 2012. The proposed budget level for social services for 2012 is higher by 10.4 percent over its current year’s budgetary allocation of P521.4 billion.

Dapat diretso sa tao, lalo na sa mahihirap, ang benepisyo ng paggugol ng gobyerno (Public spending should directly benefit the people, especially the poor). Our education, public healthcare and social protection activities will be synergized for maximum impact,” he said.

Abad said the budget of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will increase to P49.4 billion in 2012 from P34.3 this year, an increase of 43.9 percent. This is particularly due to the expansion of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) to cover 3 million indigent households under the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program.

The program will receive P39.5 billion, an increase of 86.17 percent from its current level of P21.19 billion. The DSWD targets 2.3 million indigent households in 2011, and additional funding is being considered for this year with the accelerated enrolment of beneficiaries.

The budget for the Department of Education (DepEd) will increase by 15.2 percent to P238.8 billion in 2012 from this year’s P207.3 billion. In particular, the Basic Educational Facilities Fund will increase by 54.28 percent P17.4 billion from P11.291 billion; while the Regular School Building Program will again be provided with one billion pesos. All in all, this will provide 41,381 additional classrooms, 2.53 million seats, and 25,667 water and sanitation facilities.

Others to be funded by the DepEd’s budget are: 13,000 additional teaching positions; a million students covered by the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education or GASTPE program; and 45.7 million textbooks and teaching manuals.

Meanwhile, the budget of the Department of Health (DoH) will increase by 34.84 percent to P43.4 billion from this year’s P33.2 billion.  In particular, premium subsidies under the National Health Insurance Program increased to P12 billion in 2012 from this year’s P3.5 billion, to cover 5.2 million indigent households under Quintile I of the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) of DSWD.

Furthermore, the budget for the Doctors to the Barrios Program will increase 13 times to P1.742 billion from P123 million this year, to deploy 280 doctors, 12,000 nurses, and 1,376 midwives to regional health units, barangay health stations, and hospitals nationwide. This is inclusive of the P56 million to support 292 Pinoy MD Scholars.

Other programs to be funded by this program are P5.75 billion for the upgrading of rural health units, barangay health stations, and district hospitals; P1.87 billion to cover 2.6 million children under the Expanded Program on Immunization; and P3 billion for public-private partnerships for the upgrading, rehabilitation, and maintenance of 25 regional hospitals.