The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released additional funds for the special risk allowance (SRA) of public and private healthcare workers battling the pandemic.
In a statement, the budget department said on Wednesday, Sept. 29, that P451.31 million in additional SRA was released for healthcare workers who are directly catering to or are in contact with COVID-19 patients.
According to the DBM, eligible healthcare workers are those who worked from December 20, 2020 to June 30 this year.
Of total, P407.08 million were charged from the contingent fund while P44.23 million from the miscellaneous personnel benefits fund under the 2021 general appropriations act.
Overall, the DBM has already released P8.23 billion, which benefitted about 499,116 healthcare workers who each received an SRA not exceeding P5,000 per month for the covered period.
The SRA is an additional benefit for healthcare workers, apart from the existing compensations as prescribed under the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers and the DOH-DBM Joint Circular No. 1, series of 2016.
On Sept. 4, the DBM had released P888.12 million in SRA, and P311.79 million last Aug. 25.
President Duterte earlier ordered the DBM and the Department of Health (DOH) to release the SRA of healthcare workers.
The chief executive’s directive came after complaints from medical professional groups on the delayed release of the SRA.
According to the DBM, the health department shall facilitate the downloading of the funds to the DOH-retained hospitals, treatment and rehabilitation centers, private hospitals and other COVID-19 facilities.
“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 department added.
“Rest assured that the DBM will facilitate the prompt release of the funds for the SRA to ensure that all eligible HCWs will receive their rightful benefits,” it added.