Philippines Congress Allocates $18M To Fight HIV/AIDS, TB
The Philippines Congress has allocated 750 million pesos, or about $18 million, in the 2008 national budget to help fight HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, Rep. Edcel Lagman, who chairs the House appropriations committee, said Tuesday, the Inquirer reports. The Department of Health will receive 600 million pesos, or about $15 million, to prevent and treat TB and 150 million pesos, or about $4 million, for HIV/AIDS control, Lagman said.
Approximately 200 million pesos, or $5 million, from the health department's TB allocation will be used to treat the disease among public school teachers and other school staff who have TB (Ager, Inquirer, 1/29). The Philippine Department of Education and the health department in October reported that almost 2,000 public school teachers in the country were diagnosed with TB during the first half of 2007 (GlobalHealthReporting.org, 10/31/07).
TB is sixth on the list of diseases that kill the largest number of people in the Philippines, according to health department data. Lagman said that although the number of people living with HIV/AIDS in the Philippines is relatively low when compared with other countries, data from the United Nations 2007 AIDS Epidemic Update showed that the number has more than doubled since 2001 (Inquirer, 1/29).