Where's the special risk allowance for HCWs? DBM says it has identified fund source

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) says it has identified a potential source of funds for the P1-billion special risk allowance (SRA) of local health care workers (HCWs), which had been requested by the Department of Health (DOH).

(Mari Gimenez/ Unsplash)

During the DOH's budget hearing before the House Committee on Appropriations Monday, Sept. 12, ACT Teachers Party-list Rep. France Castro asked the DOH contingent whether or not the eligible HCWs have been paid their SRA.

DOH Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire answered by saying that they previously requested for additional funds worth P1.045 billion from the DBM in order to pay the SRA of 55,844 HCWs.

"Still unfunded is the SRA of 55,844 health workers. We are discussing this with DBM. This is worth P1 billion and we are still waiting for their response," Vergeire told Castro.

In response to this, DBM OIC Secretary Sofia Abad said they're currently evaluating the request of the health department

She bared that the DOH submitted additional documentary requirements past Sept, 6.

"The is evaluating the propriety of the claims but we have identified the potential budget source to cover the request," Abad said, without giving specifics.

If anything, she claimed that the fund source the department identified would be "sufficient" to cover the DOH request.

"We are evaluating the propriety of the claims to be able to process the release of funds," Abad reiterated.

The Covid-19 pandemic first struck the Philippines in early 2020, or over two years ago.