The 2021 national budget has sufficient funding to support the implementation of the Doktor para sa Bayan Act, which was signed into law recently by President Duterte, according to Senator Joel Villanueva.
Villanueva, principal sponsor and author of Republic Act 11509 or the Doktor para sa Bayan Act, explained that Congress allocated over P1 billion for the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Department of Health (DOH) to increase more scholarship slots for aspiring doctors and provide them with their needs going to medical school.
“With the enactment of the Doktor para sa Bayan law, there is no more reason that we cannot have enough doctors to take care of our people,” he said.
“One of our goals in the measure is to eliminate the biggest perceived reason of our youths who aspire to become doctors. Their dreams of becoming a doctor has a clearer path today through the Doktor para sa Bayan bill,” Villanueva said in a statement.
“Litaw na litaw po ang tinaguriang ‘achilles heel’ ng ating healthcare system ngayong pandemya. Kulang po ang ating mga doktor na siyang mangangalaga sa ating mga kababayan. Inaasahan po natin na sa kalaunan, dadami ang mga doktor sa mga bayan at munisipalidad, at hindi na kailangang dumayo pa ang mga maysakit sa mga malalayong lugar para mabigyan ng atensyong medikal,” he continued.
Under this year’s national budget, both CHED and DOH were allocated some P802 million to allow them to accommodate more scholars under the medical scholarship program.
Congress also allocated P279 million for Cebu Normal University, University of Southeastern Philippines, and Western Mindanao State University which are all on track to open their own colleges of medicine this year, according to Villanueva.
CHED has also P150 million in its budget to assist other state universities and colleges intending to establish their own medicine programs, the lawmaker added.