TACLOBAN CITY, (PNA) -– The Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will embark on a Php320.6-million Health Facilities Enhancement Program (HFEP), which seeks to build and upgrade barangay  health stations, rural health units, and local government hospitals in Eastern Visayas.

DOH Regional Director Minerva Molon said the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) recently released the 2015 appropriations, which will be fully implemented next year.

“It took a while for the national government to disburse the budget since the secretaries of DPWH, DOH and DBM have to agree on some policies,” Molon explained.

“On our part, we also have to conduct assessment to ensure that there would be no duplication of assistance from the government and non-government organizations.”

The Php320.6 million is on top of the multi-million outlay for HFEP that will be constructed by the health department. The two government agencies agreed that projects worth Php1 million and above will be handled by DPWH.

The DOH official has no available data on DOH-implemented HFEP projects during the interview, but according to her, majority of the projects are under the watch of DPWH.

“Our district engineers have been coordinating with the DOH and local government units regarding the conduct of site visitation to check the actual buildable space for the preparation of detailed plans,” said DPWH Regional Director Rolando M. Asis.

Of the Php320.6 million, Php13.9 million are intended for 13 village health stations, Php62.9 million for 24 rural health units, and Php243.8 million for 13 hospitals managed by local government units.

Broken down to provinces, Northern Samar got the highest HFEP allocation at Php105.5 million, followed by Southern Leyte (Php67 million), Leyte (Php61.7 million), Eastern Samar (Php36.2 million), Samar (Php26.2 million), and Biliran (Php24 million).

Nationwide, the budget department has released Php3.3 billion for 2015 HFEP under the DOH-DPWH partnership. (PNA)