The Department of Health on Saturday said it would apportion 38 percent of its budget under the Bayanihan to Recover As One Act or Bayanihan 2 for healthcare personnel working amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Mga about 38 percent ng ating pondo na iyan ay para sa human resources for health. We like to continue on with the deployment of doctors, nurses, midwives and other healthcare professionals,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a Laging Handa briefing.

Research by data aggregator iPrice Group found the Philippines to have the lowest salary for nurses in Southeast Asia.

Reacting to this, Palace spokesman Harry Roque said Malacañang wanted salaries of nurses in both public and private hospitals increased.

The DOH’s budget will also be allocated for the national vaccination program for Covid-19 and other diseases.

“Mayroon din tayong programa diyan o budget for the vaccine for Covid-19 and of course the other vaccines that we need for the national immunization program,” Vergeire said.

The fund will also be used for other health programs.

“Nandiyan po iyong mga public health programs natin na kailangan po nating suportahan…. At mayroon pong parte diyan na mayroon pa rin po tayong health facilities enhancement pero ito po ay depende sa pag-uusap pa rin po base po sa ating magiging hearings with our budget,” Vergeire said. John Ezekiel J. Hirro