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The country might face a mental health crisis if the government will not allocate sufficient funds for programs to help those dealing with health condition.

Senator Risa Hontiveros issued the warning on Facebook after she scored the budget cut for the National Center for Mental Health set by the government in the proposed 2021 national budget.

Hontiveros, author of the country’s Mental Health law, said health authorities have recorded a surge in suicides as the nation struggles with the coronavirus pandemic.

“Numbers of suicide are on the rise. P23 for each of the 3.6 million Filipinos who suffer from mental health disorders is insignificant. Parang binalewala natin ang sakit nila,” she said.

“This pandemic is extremely stressful for all of us, and we can face a mental health pandemic if we don’t fund our MH programs for 2021 properly,” the said.

Under the 2021 budget proposal, NCMH has a budget allocation of P1.6 billion, higher than P1.2 billion budget this year.

But the NCMH’s budget request of P840 million for its maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) for 2021 was slashed by P440 million despite the “extreme demand” of services, according to Hontiveros.

These cuts would mean that the out-of-pocket expenses of patients will increase and free services might get paralyzed, she said.

Numbers of suicide are on the rise. P23 for each of the 3.6 million Filipinos who suffer from mental health disorders is…

Posted by Senator Risa Hontiveros on Thursday, October 29, 2020

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