THE DEPARTMENT of Budget and Management (DBM) has approved the release of P175.9 million to fund the government’s health research and development initiative.

In a statement, the agency said the fund was allocated to the Department of Science and Technology’s Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DoST-PCHRD) under a cash requirement to implement its grants-in-aid program.

“Investing in health research translates to investing in a healthier and more resilient future for our nation,” Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman said in a statement on Sunday.

She said the fund would also go to capacity strengthening, financial support for various researchers, the conduct of forum and conventions, allowance for scholars, and financial assistance to state universities and colleges (SUCs).

“With this additional fund, we help empower our scientists, scholars, and institutions to drive innovation and make a lasting impact on public health,” Ms. Pangandaman added.

The Budget chief approved the notice of cash allocations (NCAs) for the program on Feb. 13 and 27.

The fund is under a P678.512-million total allocation for the department’s grants-in-aid program.

The DBM previously disbursed P25.646 million for the DoST-PCHRD’s operations for the first quarter of the year.

The entire DoST-PCHRD has a budget of P828.955 million under this year’s General Appropriations Act. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz