DBM releases P7.9-B for HCW allowances

DBM releases P7.9-B for HCW allowances

By Chino S. Leyco

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released nearly P8 billion to the new compensation system that replaced the special risk allowances given to healthcare workers (HCWs)

In a statement, the DBM said on Thursday, Feb. 17, that the department released the appropriated amount of P7.92 billion to the Department of Health (DOH) for the provision of the One COVID-19 Allowance (OCA).

The OCA will benefit 526,727 eligible HCWs and non-HCWs in the public and private sectors who were involved in COVID-19 response, the DBM said.

Of the amount, P4.5 billion is allocated for the COVID-19 benefits of 100,313 DOH plantilla personnel in public hospitals, offices, and rehabilitation centers including those who are in military and state university hospitals.

The remaining P3.42 billion is for other 426,414 health workers reporting in local government units and private health facilities, among others.

Under the OCA, each HCW and non-HCW shall receive COVID-19 benefits depending on their level of COVID-19 exposure as prescribed under DOH Administrative Order no. 2022-0001.

Specifically, health workers who are identified to be at high risk shall receive P9,000 a month while those who are determined to be in medium and low risk are entitled to a monthly benefit of P6,000 and P3,000 respectively.

The benefit shall be given in full amount provided that the health professional physically reports to work for at least ninety-six (96) hours per month, otherwise the benefit shall be prorated.

The agencies issued DBM-DOH Joint Circular No. 2022-0001 to prescribe the guidelines for the grant of the OCA.

“The DBM will continue to ensure the timely and prudent approval of the budget releases to ensure the welfare of the frontliners as we bounce back from the impacts of the health crisis,” the department said.