MANILA - The Department of Budget and Management has released the P9.02 billion fund allotted for the special risk allowance of health workers attending to COVID-19 patients, an official said Monday.
The budget for 298,202 health workers nationwide eligible for P5,000 per month from December 20 last year to June 30 was released to the Department of Health last Friday, said Assistant Secretary Kim Robert de Leon, head of DBM's organization and systems improvement group.
"Ngayon pong na-release na ang pondo sa DOH, maaasahan po ng ating health workers na directly catering to or in contact with COVD-19 patients na pinoproseso na po ang pag-load ng pondo sa mga ospital, regional centers of health development, including mga private hospitals po," he told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
(Now that the funds have been released to the DOH, our health workers catering to or in contact with COVID-19 patients can expect that the downloading of the budget to hospitals and regional centers of development, including private hospitals, is being processed.)
"Tayo po ay patuloy na nakikipag-coordinate sa DOH para masisiguro po that this will be downloaded."
(We continue to coordinate with the DOH to ensure this will be downloaded.)
President Rodrigo Duterte on June 1 extended the SRA, which was initially valid from Sep. 15 to Dec. 19, 2020.
Medical frontliners have complained that they have yet to get their SRA and other benefits as the pandemic raged on.
Senator Risa Hontiveros earlier filed a resolution seeking to investigate the delayed release of SRA.
As of June 26, the DOH has recorded 20,120 health workers in the country who contracted COVID-19, of whom, 103 are still ill while 100 others have died.
Majority of those who were infected, as well as those who succumbed to the disease are nurses and physicians.
The Philippines has recorded a total of 1,397,992 COVID-19 cases as of Sunday, of which 52,570 were active infections and 24,372 resulted in deaths.
A total of 1,131,498 health workers have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as of the same day, accounting for 44.7 percent of the country's total.