Wednesday, September 28, 2011

400 Million Pesos Eyed for HIV/AIDS Action Plan

Taken from ABS-CBN website :

Five lawmakers are pushing for a budget of P400 million to jumpstart a national action plan aimed at suppressing HIV/AIDS.
The proposal is part of House Bill 5312, a bill filed by representatives Maria Isabelle Climaco of Zamboanga City, Janette Garin of Iloilo, Jorge Banal of Quezon City, Kaka Bag-ao of Akbayan party-list and Arnel Ty of LPGMA.

According to Ty, the proposed HIV/AIDS action plan includes "clear-cut mandates for specific agencies to provide certain programs meant to alleviate the conditions of the growing number of Filipinos living with HIV."

Ty noted that public funding for AIDS prevention and control has declined to P65 million in the proposed 2012 national budget from P81 million in 2009.

"This cutback is deplorable, considering we are one of only seven countries in the world where new HIV cases are rapidly increasing amid a global slowdown," he said, citing data from the World Health Organization (WHO).

The other countries mentioned by the WHO include Armenia, Bangladesh, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

House Bill 5312 seeks to amend the 13-year-old AIDS Prevention and Control Law, Ty said.
Aside from more funds, the proposed measure also includes the immediate installation of local AIDS councils "with forceful and concentrated action plans at the regional, provincial, city and municipal levels," and "energizing" the Philippine National Aids Council.

"That HIV is infecting seven Filipinos every day is an understatement. We are talking here only of cases passively detected, since compulsory HIV testing is prohibited by law to prevent discrimination of HIV-positive people, and rightly so," Ty said.

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