Strategic health, education budgeting pushed

Senator Pia Cayetano on Tuesday emphasized the need to anticipate future challenges and consider strategic foresight when crafting a budget for the health and education sectors.

Cayetano made the remark as she co-sponsored the 2023 budget of six entities including the Department of Health and its attached agencies and corporations; Department of Education and its attached agencies; Commission on Higher Education; State Universities and Colleges; Cultural Agencies; and the Development Academy of the Philippines.

“I won’t go into details on the budgets I handled as chairperson, because our Chairman already highlighted many of them. Suffice it to say, we sought to future-proof and use strategic foresight, to uphold intergenerational fairness, and to be prepared for whatever challenges lie ahead, because we do live in a VUCA world. VUCA, meaning, Volatile Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous,” Cayetano said, during her co-sponsorship speech on the deliberation of the proposed 2023 national government budget.

Cayetano, who is also the vice-chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, stressed the importance of considering a foreseeable future in budgeting for health and education to prepare for possible “challenges that lie ahead.”

“We heard the agencies using the lens of future thinking and the (Sustainable Development Goals) as the main blueprint and guide to help attain the different goals for a more sustainable and prosperous future,” she said.

While the Constitution recognizes the need for the highest budgetary priority to education and the comprehensive approach to health development, Cayetano lamented the unforeseen impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic as an example of preparing these sectors for upcoming challenges.

Meanwhile, Cayetano said the continued support for the health sector was reflected in the budget proposal which includes improving facilities and their operations, increasing the carrying capacity for existing medical state universities and colleges, providing support to those with pending applications to offer medical programs, as well as increasing the carrying capacity of SUCs with Nursing and Allied Health Programs.

The lawmaker also stressed the need to allocate funding for the hiring of vaccinators to prevent outbreaks of diseases like polio and measles among children.

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