Health workers in Pasig City start the 10-day countdown to call for benefits from the government. PHOTO FROM NICOLITO OBA
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) will now be downloading P311 million to its regional offices and hospitals for the provision of special risk allowance (SRA) to over 20,000 health workers who have yet to claim their benefits.
During the Senate blue ribbon committee hearing, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has already released to the DOH the Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) for P311 million.
“It’s already been released, I am told, so we will already download this to the regions, to the hospitals,” Duque told senators.
Under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2, those directly exposed to COVID-19 are entitled to an SRA and hazard pay.
Last week, President Rodrigo Duterte gave the DBM and DOH 10 days to pay health workers who have yet to receive their benefits.
“The amount under Bayanihan 2 has actually been reverted but we were able to finance the SRA for the 20,000 health care workers whose claims have not been paid under the Bayanihan 2 law and we released it today,” DBM officer-in-charge Tina Rose Marie Canda said during the hearing.
“The DOH will be downloading it, I would assume, starting this afternoon,” she added.
According to Canda, the DBM sourced from the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund (MPBF) needed funds for the SRA to be given to healthcare workers in government hospitals.
For the private healthcare workers, funds were sourced from the unprogrammed funds, she added.
“There is a funding back-up from excess revenues as certified by the treasury,” she said.
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