DBM: P311 million in special risk allowances for health workers already released

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 25 2021 09:23 PM

MANILA - The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on Wednesday said it already released P311.79 million for the special risk allowances (SRA) of health workers in the country, as thousands of health workers threatened to resign due to its delay. 

President Rodrigo Duterte last week gave the Department of Health (DOH) and DBM 10 days to release their overdue benefits. 

A total of 20,208 public and private health care workers are set to receive the benefits, DBM said.

"[The] health workers directly catering to COVID-19 patients shall receive an SRA not exceeding P5,000 per month from December 20, 2020 to June 30, 2021," the agency said. 

"The grant of the COVID-19 SRA shall be pro-rated based on the number of days that the public and private health workers physically report for work in a month."

The funds were sourced from the miscellaneous personnel benefits fund and unprogrammed appropriations under this year's budget, according to the agency.

The DOH, according to DBM, should facilitate the fund transfers to hospitals, treatment, rehabilitation centers, private hospitals, and COVID-19 facilities under them. 

Last week, the health department said it it has released P10.85 billion for the SRA of 740,958 health workers, and another P4.24 billion for the hazard pay of 864,843 frontliners. 

Thousands of medical workers have already reportedly resigned during the pandemic, complaining of low pay and poor working conditions. 

Some have sought better jobs abroad.

The DOH is also facing questions over the management of COVID-19 funds. 

State auditors reported "deficiencies" of about P67 billion leading to "missed opportunities" in containing the coronavirus pandemic. The health department said the funds were accounted for. 

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