DBM: Health workers to receive unpaid SRA

Eligible public and private health workers involved in pandemic health care response will soon get their unpaid special risk allowance (SRA), the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) announced.

In a statement, Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman said the DBM approved last Oct. 3 the release of a Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) amounting to P1.04 billion to the Department of Health (DOH) for the SRA.

Pangandaman said the funding will cover unpaid Covid-19 SRA claims of 55,211 health workers, who shall receive a grant amounting to P5,000 for every month they are serving during the period of state of national emergency.

“We understand and recognize the selflessness and immense sacrifice that our health workers continue to pour out throughout these turbulent times. This is one way of recognizing their sacrifices,” Pangandaman said on Tuesday, Oct. 4.

Qualified health workers refer to medical, allied medical, and other personnel assigned in hospitals and health care facilities, and who are directly catering to or in contact with Covid-19 patients, persons under investigation (PUIs) or persons under monitoring (PUMs).

The release of funding for COVID-19 SRA is pursuant to Republic Act (RA) No. 11494, known as the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, which states the provision of allowances and benefits to all public and private health workers catering to or in contact with COVID-19 patients.

Meanwhile, Administrative Order No. 36 or Authorizing the grant of Covid-19 SRA to health workers directly catering to or in contact with Covid-19 patients during the State of National Emergency was issued on Nov. 20, 2020.

The grant of the SRA was further extended to June 30, 2021 under Administrative Order No. 42.

“Rest assured that we will continue to closely coordinate with the DOH so that our health care workers get the allowances and benefits they deserve,” Pangandaman said.

To date, the total released allotment for SRA amounts to P11.857 billion.