P237.28 million disbursed for risk allowances of health workers, says DOH

By: Patricia Denise Chiu - Philippine Daily Inquirer | September 01,2021 - 09:30 AM

| File photo

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday said it had already downloaded P237.28 million to public and private hospitals for the special risk allowances (SRA) of around 20,000 health-care workers who directly dealt with COVID-19 patients between Dec. 20, 2020, and June 30 this year.

The amount was from the P311 million allocated for the SRA of medical front-liners.

In an online briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that an additional P74.5 million was ready to be distributed.

But at the same time, the DOH said it was looking for more funds to pay the SRA of 17,000 other health-care workers, adding that it had requested an additional P201 million from the Department of Budget and Management.

Health-care workers who directly work with COVID-19 patients are entitled to an SRA of up to P5,000 a month. However, Vergeire explained that the amount would be paid on a prorated basis, meaning the beneficiary would get a special risk allowance based on the number of days they reported for work.

In a separate television interview, Vergeire said the DOH was looking to streamline the process of releasing the SRA to health workers.

“Most of the delays come from facilities complying with requirements … We are trying to streamline this,” she said.

The Filipino Nurses United and the Alliance of Health Workers earlier gave the government until today, Sept. 1, to release their SRA, subsidies for meals, accommodation and transportation as well as the active hazard duty pay dating back to September 2020.

Many nurses have been holding rallies outside their hospitals in recent days to demand the release of their allowances and the resignation of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III over the government’s bungled response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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TAGS: allowances, covid-19 patients, DOH, health workers, special risk allowances

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