Mandanas ruling and HRH Deployment Program

The Philippine Government will start implementing the Mandanas Ruling in 2022 and one of the programs that will be devolved to local government units is the Human Resource for Health (HRH) Deployment Program. 

The Supreme Court granted in 2018 and reaffirmed a year later the petitions of Batangas Gov. Hermilando Mandanas and former Bataan Gov. Enrique Garcia Jr. to compute Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) of local government units (LGU) based on 40 percent of collection of “all” national taxes—the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) tax take and the Bureau of Customs’ (BOC) collections of import duties and other taxes. 

This Mandanas Ruling, which will take effect starting 2022, will result to increase of funds for LGUs by around 50%. 

Devolution of HRH Program in Mandanas Ruling

Thus, on June 1, President Rodrigo Duterte issued Executive Order No. 138 implementing devolution of basic services to the LGU including healthcare, as mandated by Local Government Code.

"The functions, services, and facilities which shall be fully devolved from the NG (national government) to the LGUs (local government units) no later than the end of FY (fiscal year) 2024, shall include those indicated under Section 17 of RA No. 7160 and other existing laws which subsequently devolved functions of the NG to LGUs," the EO stated.

According to the Universal Health Care (UHC) Medium Term Expenditure Program for 2020-2023 of the Department of Health (DOH), the HRH Deployment Program is included in the devolution.

A partial implementation of Mandanas Ruling for HRH Deployment will be done in 2022 and its full implementation in 2023. 

"In 2022, HRH under the DOH Deployment Program will be transferred to the 1st-3rd class cities/ municipalities only. On the other hand, HRH deployment to Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDAs), particularly to 4th-6th class cities/municipalities, will still be implemented by DOH," the health department stated in its spending plan.

"The total HRH to be retained under DOH Deployment Program in 2022 is 11,690, which is much less than the 26,389 HRH in 2021."

"Meanwhile, only a total of 2,844 HRH will be retained under the DOH Deployment Program in 2023. These are composed of physicians and midwives with a return service agreement. The rest of the HRH for deployment like nurses will be devolved to the 1st-6th class cities/municipalities."

"HRH complement for newly constructed BHS and RHUs should be the responsibility of LGUs; Nonetheless, LGUs may still request HRH augmentation from DOH through the National Health Workforce Support System."

"In addition to the HRH cadre above, from the 3,807 public health associates (PHAs) in 2021, only 3,485 PHAs for disease surveillance will be retained under DOH while the remaining 322 PHAs will be devolved to 1st class cities/municipalities for 2022. There will be full re-devolution of hiring PHAs in compliance to the Mandanas case ruling for all PHAs in 2023. This will be harmonized to the organization of Epidemiology and Surveillance Units (ESUs) required in the UHC IRR."

This is just the initial information from the DOH on the status of HRH Deployment Program when Mandanas ruling and devolution will be implemented next year.

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