By Cindy Cruzata
The National Government (NG) and Local Government Units (LGUs) are expected to finance the prevention and treatment services for the national Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) program.
Based on the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) 2012 Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Financing (BESF) and in line with the priorities of Administration, the Social Services Sector will continue to receive the bulk of the budget with P575.8 billion or 31.7 percent of the total budget.
The indicative budget for 2012 coming from the Department of Health (DOH) is about P120 million which includes the budget from the National AIDS/STI Prevention and Control Program (NASPCP), the HIV Unit of the National Epidemiology Center (NEC), and the PNAC Secretariat.
The National Government, specifically the DOH, on the other hand, provides the technical resources, enabling policies, training and some commodities.
The bulk of prevention intervention is expected to be funded by the LGUs with assistance from the DOH that partially subsidizes the provision of drugs for STI treatment, condoms, HIV test kits, and the cost of confirmatory test.
Other government agencies also contribute to prevention services.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will finance all workplace-related prevention activities, while DepEd will support school-based AIDS education program.
Given the Indicative budget for 2012 of key national government agencies, there is a clear financing gap in terms of prevention, treatment, and health systems strengthening.
At the National level, major departments continue to justify increases in budget allocations and ensure effective and efficient implementation of programs and projects.
On the other hand, the LGUs’ HIV-related services are usually funded through the City Health Departments’ budget allocations.
However, not all municipalities and cities have Social Hygiene Clinics (SCHs) which should be lodged at every health centers.
To date, there are only 119 SHCs in the country.
In the province of Aklan, HIV prevention services and care and support for PLHIVs are being implemented wherein activities were prioritized through the recommendation of the Aklan Provincial AIDS Council.
Further, there are several financing options that may be available to the LGUs from internal and external resources, including some DOH resources.