The European Union (EU) and the Philippines recently signed the Philippines Health Sector Reform Contract (PHSRC). This is the third EU funded program to support the Philippine Health Sector Reform Agenda.
Under this agreement, the EU will provide a 30-million or P1.8-billion grant to generally support Philippine Government initiatives in developing the country s health sector. Of the 30 million, the grant covers a budget support of 20.5 million directly channelled to the National Treasury, a complementary component of 9.5 million aimed at funding various technical assistance and capacity building programs to strengthen the Department of Health s (DOH) health delivery systems.
The signing of the agreement increases the total support of the EU to the health sector to 118 million or approximately P7.2 billion between 2006 and 2018. EU has continuously supported DOH programs that have achieved remarkable progress over the past years. Based on DOH data, noteworthy is the decline in child mortality from 58 in 1998 to 30 deaths per 1000 live births in 2011; the increase in the population s insurance coverage from 62% in 2010 to 83% in 2012 of which 53% come from the poorest and most vulnerable families in the country. Furthermore, 27 provinces have been declared malaria free, and the proportion of people infected with HIV and AIDS has remained below 1% of the population.
The agreement was signed by Europe Aid Cooperation for Asia Director Dirk Meganck, representing the European Union, and Secretary of Finance Cesar V. Purisima, representing the Philippine Government.
European Union Ambassador Guy Ledoux said that out of the 30 million grant, the EU is authorizing the release of 10 million to support the Build Back Better plan of the Department of Health after Typhoon Yolanda.
The grant is an affirmation of the European Union s commitment to ensure that disadvantaged and vulnerable people have access to quality health services through a more effective, efficient, and equitable health system, he added.
The Philippine Government is very thankful for the support the European Union has provided the country with over the past decade, particularly for its assistance to the Philippine s health sector. This very timely assistance will not only help strengthen the National Government actions in rebuilding Typhoon Yolanda-hit areas, but also complement the current Government direction towards enhancing Philippine delivery health systems for the Filipino people who are the backbone of this country s strong economic growth and development, Secretary of Finance Cesar Purisima said. The DOH has continually aspired to strengthen national and local health systems by rationalizing and improving the quality of health services and ensuring better access to these services by the Filipinos, especially the poor and the disadvantaged.