Oliver Bugarin 3 0 0 3 min to read

Solon applauds the P2.1-B allocation to initiatives for mental health.

On Tuesday, a party-list lawmaker praised the Ferdinand Marcos Jr. administration for allocating over PHP 2.1 billion from the Department of Health (DOH) budget for mental health initiatives.

Rep. Ray Florence Reyes of Anakalusugan said that the PHP568.04 million budget for the government’s mental health programs for the coming year has been “hugely increased.”

“Our nation stigmatizes mental health, which is exacerbated by a small annual budget. One of the underfunded areas in our nation is the field of mental health. Reyes suggested that this may change with the Department of Health’s 2.1 billion peso funding for the next year.

According to him, the budget for the following year might enhance, establish, and offer additional services for Filipinos dealing with mental health problems.

Reyes highlighted a National Center for Global Health and Medicine research on the state of mental health in the Philippines, which revealed that government hospitals and national health insurance cover only in-patient services.

He emphasized that outpatient patients with mental diseases continue to pay 100% of the cost of their care out of pocket.

This budget increase, Reyes said, “is a positive step towards the drive to break the stigma associated with mental illness, as it creates opportunities for improvement in officially funded health-centric priorities. It is hoped that this budget increase can lessen the financial burden on our countrymen.”

At the height of the epidemic, the DOH estimated that 3.6 million Filipinos suffered from mental illnesses, making it the third most prevalent handicap in the nation.

In the Western Pacific area, the nation has the third-highest rate of mental disorders per capita.

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