By Ernie Reyes
MANILA – Senator Nancy Binay questioned the proposed allocated funds
for the constructions of media hubs while there were huge budget cuts
on various public hospitals, health facilities amid COVID pandemic in
the proposed 2022 national budget.
“Sa gitna ng kakulangan ng kapasidad ng mga healthcare facilities
natin dahil sa lumalalang kaso ng Covid-19 at budget cut sa maraming
ospital, hindi tama na may mga ‘big-ticket’ construction projects para
sa mga hindi naman pressing priority. We should be building hospitals,
not media hubs,” Binay said.
The senator questioned how essential the Visayas Media Hub that the
Presidential Communications Operations Office plans to construct is in
efforts to curb the pandemic.
The agency is asking P200 million in Capital Outlay in its proposed
budget for next year for the hub’s construction in Mandaue, Cebu.
Last December, the agency launched the Mindanao Media Hub in Davao
City, for which P340 million was spent on the building while P408
million was spent on equipment.
Binay said that such projects should be deferred until the pandemic is
“While we do not dismiss the value of these hubs, we have increasingly
diminishing resources which we should dedicate towards our fight
against Covid-19. Our people’s lives and health should be given top
priority right now over anything else,” the lawmaker said.
“Sana ang mga ganitong construction projects na hindi urgent, ibuhos
na lang natin sa mga ospital na nabawasan pa ang alokasyon imbes na
dapat dagdagan,” Binay added.
Seventy-six public hospitals are bound to suffer from the meager P157
billion allocated to the Department of Health’s Office of the
Secretary under which these are listed, she said.
Around nine major government hospitals have also had their maintenance
and operating expenses (MOOE) budgets slashed. (ai/mtvn)