The Department of Health (DOH) said that healthcare workers will receive some of their benefits in cash after their allowance for meals, accommodation, and transportation were “repurposed.”
DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that last December, they were informed that hospitals were unable to use the funds intended for the healthcare workers transportation, meals, and accommodation.
The hospitals could not use the allocated funds due to “certain rules in our procurement and fund utilization,” she said.
“Kaya minarapat ng DOH na kunin nalang uli at ibabalik sa Quick Response fund dahil hindi pwedeng nakatengga ang pera sa kanila at matatapos na rin po ang taon (That’s why the DOH retrieved it and returned it to the Quick Response fund because the money can’t be left to them as the year will be over),” explained Vergeire during a public press briefing on Saturday, June 19.
She noted that the retrieved funds were used for COVID-19 related responses, such as buying test kits. However, the Office of the President decided this month that the allocated funds should be given to healthcare workers and convert it into cash.
“Pero nung June 1, nagbigay ang desisyon ang Office of the President, kailangan i-monetize nalang, gawing pera yung para sa mga free accomodation and meals. So iyan po ang susundin natin (But on June 1, the Office of the President decided that we need to monetize the funds allocated for free accommodation and meals. So that’s what we will follow),” said Vergeire.
“Gusto ko pong i-ensure at i-assure ang ating mga healthcare workers na iyong pera ay hinahanap natin at ibibigay ito…Pera na ang ibibigay sa inyo (I want to ensure and assure our healthcare workers that we are looking for sources for these funds and we will give it to you … We will give this to you in cash),” she added.
“Konting patience lang po (Just a little more patience). We are trying to find funds and we are going to give this to all of you,” she furthered.