The Beginning of the End for Philippine Public Hospitals?

by Anjon Galauran


Women dressed in pink hospital gowns, smeared bandages, dextrose infusion tubes and face masks stormed the gates of the Department of Health in Manila last June 2014, protesting against the worsening health situation in the country. The act was a protest action opposing the Aquino administration’s realignment of funds including those of impoverished and poorly subsidized state hospitals to the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) which has just recently been declared ‘unconstitutional’ by the Supreme Court. Add to that the Privatization scheme of the current administration which is both highly experimental and controversial.


The Disbursement Acceleration Program has been the subject to massive protests lately as it has been connected to the earlier demonstrations launched against the ‘Pork Barrel Scam’ on the last quarter of last year. The target of the protests then were only those directly linked to the Pork Scam primarily Senators Juan Ponce-Enrile, Bong Revilla, and Jinggoy Estrada who are known leaders of the opposition bloc in the Senate and are now detained for the cases lodged against them in connection to the said scam.


[quote_center]But the Aquino administration came into shock and defensive stance when DAP came into public knowledge[/quote_center]


10341647_799769456700994_141241877452137510_nBut the Aquino administration came into shock and defensive stance when DAP came into public knowledge. DAP as what DBM Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad explained at a Senate hearing, is the process of “pooling of unused funds” from savings disbursed to agencies or organizations, wherever the executive wants to allot the money to. Included in those agencies which had their funds pooled for DAP are the public hospitals.


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