Health advocates marched to the Senate Friday (November 26) to press anew for increased allocation for public health services in the proposed 2011 national budget. The Senate is currently reviewing the P1.645-trillion budget proposal of the Aquino administration, which critics like think tank IBON Foundation said shows a “diminishing priority for health”. The proposed budget reduced the allocation for 55 public hospitals nationwide by P363.7 million while funds for specialty hospitals like the Lung Center, Philippine Heart Center, and the Philippine Children’s Medical Center, among others, have been cut by P970.6 million. Meanwhile, debt servicing continues to eat up a major portion of the national budget with interest payments alone eating up 21.7 percent of the planned spending program. Including principal amortization, the debt burden actually represents 38.9 percent of what the Aquino administration is willing to spend in its proposed 2011 national budget (read more here).