THE committee on health will work harder this year to get bigger budget for its programs designed to deal with epidemics and outbreaks in Davao City, a councilor said.

Councilor Joselle Villafuerte told Sun.Star Davao that the health budget for 2014 is only 12 percent of the city's Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA). The city's IRA for 2014 is pegged at P2,932,695,052.

She said the committee wants to increase it from 12 percent to 20 percent on its next appropriation.

"That's the challenge for me and Dra. Joy Villafuerte (City Health Office head) to convince our mayor to allocate more funds for health, especially in dealing with epidemics and outbreaks," she said in a text message.

Aside from that, she said more funding is also needed for health personnel (plantilla positions for more medical doctors and registered nurses), equipment and infrastructure.

Meanwhile, the committee on health will concentrate on programs dealing with the HIV/Aids epidemic, dengue fever prevention, food safety and proper nutrition for 2014, according to Villafuerte.

She said the committee will also support all programs designed to achieve all health-related millennium development goals.

Based on the Citywide Investment Plan for Health (CIPH), the identified health-related issues in the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) are reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV/Aids, malaria and other diseases; develop partnership for development; eradicate extreme poverty; promote gender equality and empower women; and achieve universal primary education.