Duterte allots P772-million worth of health projects in ARMM
Cotabato City (October 29, 2016) – During his visit in Cotabato City on October 29, President Rodrigo Duterte vowed to help eradicate poverty and malnutrition in the ARMM through a selection of projects and programs. He also pledged to assist poverty-stricken areas in the region and reiterated his commitment to address the issues and concerns of the Moro people.
“With the bulk of projects given to the region, soon the ARMM constituents will enjoy easy access to quality health care and attain good health,” Pres. Duterte said.
In its 2016 budget, the national government earmarked P772,116,586 for the Health Facilities Enhancement Program (HFEP) and Doctors to the Barrios and Rural Health Practice Program in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) alone. The program is expected to upgrade health facilities and augment the number of health professionals in impoverished towns across the region.
Out of the total allocation for the regional HFEP, P353,600,000 was allocated for health infrastructure. It includes the construction of 18 barangay health stations, 139 rural health units, and 21 local government unit hospitals.
ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman said the program will help improve the delivery of healthcare services to unserved and underserved communities.
The HFEP will also upgrade primary and secondary health facilities to accommodate nursing students and to serve as primary health care treatment centers. This will provide patients easier access to health services, while expanding the services of existing tertiary hospitals by enabling them to be teaching and training hospitals.
This said program is part of Duterte’s anti-poverty drive dubbed Comprehensive Reform and Development Agenda (CRDA). It was initially available to municipal government units, but has been expanded and is now available to all provincial governments as well.
Prior to the said program, the ARMM has made significant headway with regard to health facilities. There were only 47 rural health units (RHUs) in the region as of 2010, but the number more than doubled within six years as 56 additional RHUs were accredited, according to DOH-ARMM Secretary Dr. Kadil Sinolinding Jr.
“These RHUs will attend to the basic health concerns of the people, especially the poor,” Sinolinding added.
“The issue on health is always a priority and is of prime importance,” Sinolinding said. “Upgraded facilities will bring quality healthcare and health services closer to the constituents,” he noted.
Aside from the health facilities, the health department will spend up to P418,516,586 for this year to engage and deploy 1,302 nurses, midwives and physicians under the Doctors to the Barrio and Rural Health Practices Program.
For 2017, the national government allocated additional P184,920,000 to 22 local government units for the ARMM constituents. The national government will also provide an additional P402,441,641 budget for the 1,042 health practitioners.
In the same event, Duterte also launched programs intended for conflict-affected areas in Regions 9, 10, and 12. (Bureau of Public Information)