Eligible health workers are expected to receive their unpaid Covid-19 special risk allowance (SRA) by next week, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Tuesday, Oct. 4.
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released on Oct. 3 an amount of P1.04 billion to the DOH to cover the SRA of "eligible public and private health workers involved in Covid-19 health care response."
“The P1.04 billion would be for us to pay 55,211 unpaid eligible claims from our healthcare workers. This is for the period of September 2020 to June of 2021,” said DOH Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire in a press briefing.
“Itong P1.04 billion na natanggap natin, pinoproseso na natin ngayon (This P1.04 billion that we received, we are now processing it). We will be already downloading to our regional offices. So hopefully by next week, we can already start distributing and disbursing these monies to our different facilities para maibigay sa ating (to be given to our) healthcare workers,” she added.
Vergeire also noted that the SRA is different to the One Covid-19 Allowance (OCA), which became effective this year. The OCA is a “combined allowances of all” and it is now called Health Emergency Allowance (HEA), she added.
The DOH is still coordinating with DBM for the release of P11.5 billion for the HEA of health workers, said Vergeire.
“This is for the unpaid Health Emergency Allowance for the period of January to June 2022 this year. And ito, magbabayad tayo ng P1,617,660 eligible claims na kailangan natin bayaran. So, ito yung hindi pa nare-release satin (And this, we will pay P1,617,660 eligible claims that we need to pay. So, this is what has not been released to us yet),” said the DOH official.
The DOH assured the country’s health workers that it will distribute the necessary Covid-19 benefits for them— once the funds were released, said Vergeire.
“Kino-commit naman po iyan ng DOH na as long as makuha natin ang funds (The DOH has committed that as long as we get the funds), we will be providing to them,” said Vergeire.
“We are doing all of our efforts, we have presented this to the President, we have presented this to the Senate, to Congress para po makakuha tayo ng karagdagang budget para mapondohan po natin lahat ng kailangang allowance ng ating healthcare workers (so that we can get an additional budget in order for us to fund all the necessary allowances of our healthcare workers),” she added.