Department of Health (DOH) is set to hire around 28,000 health workers under the Human Resource for Health Deployment Program 2019.
In the second budget hearing at the Senate on Tuesday, health secretary Francisco Duque III said that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) agreed to restore funds for the program that deploys nurses, dentists, midwives, medical technologists and other health workers to rural areas and poor communities around the country.
“I would like to report to the committee that the problem initially present about the huge cut in the HR budget of the DOH – this problem is already solved and the budgetary support has been restored for in fact a bigger number from 26,378 job orders and contract of service workers to about 28,000,” he told the Senate hearing attended by Senators Vicente Sotto III, Risa Hontiveros, and JV Ejercito.
“That’s no longer a problem. We can sleep well knowing that has been resolved,” Duque added.
During the first DOH budget hearing before the Senate in September, Duque had warned that over 15,000 health workers stand to lose their jobs if the DBM would insist on slashing HRH Deployment Program fund. DBM had earlier allotted only P1.2 billion, from P6.9 billion in 2018.
Duque said the “entirety” of about P16 to P17 billion in funding for the 28,000 positions in the HRH program will be charged against the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund (MPBF). MPBF is the item in the budget allocating funds for unfilled positions in the executive branch of government.
Now that it has been settled, Duque said that job orders will be renewed and contracts of services will be extended to 2020.
Recruitment, selection and deployment of health workers under the HRH Deployment Program 2019 will be handled by DOH regional offices nationwide. Some regional offices have been accepting applications as early as mid-October.(With reports from Rappler)