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Expect HIV-AIDS Cases to Rise Amid Meager Health Budget, RH Delay -- Ilagan
Press Release Posted on November 30th, 2011.
Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Luz Ilagan today called on President Aquino to increase the budget allocation and government spending for healthcare and direct Congress to expedite the approval of the Reproductive Health Bill to help address the growing number of HIV-AIDS cases in the country.
“It is a tragedy that the approval of the 2012 budget reflecting huge cuts for government spending on health and education came at the heels of this year’s commemoration of World AIDS Day. Certainly, putting healthcare in the least of government priorities amid a dramatic increase in the number of HIV-AIDS cases is not the way to go,” said Ilagan.
According to Ilagan, the approved P1.8 trillion national budget for 2012 reflects a P224 million cut from the Department of Health. This despite the fact that the allocation for health falls short of the World Health Organization’s recommendation of allocating 5% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product for healthcare.
The Gabriela solon cited reports from the Department of Health which documented 253 new HIV-AIDS cases in Sept. 2011 alone. This is 65 percent higher than the number of new cases reported in Sept. 2011. Since 1984, there have been 339 HIV/AIDS-related deaths, and a total of 7,684 Filipinos reported to have HIV/AIDS.
Ilagan also said, the government has long been remiss in enacting and implementing proper responses to the spread of HIV-AIDS in the country. Aside from an increase in the health budget, Ilagan also called for the approval of the RH bill.
“The enactment of a Reproductive Health policy that will ensure access to basic health services and information would help address the alarming increase in HIV-AIDS cases in the country.”