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‘Release of health workers’ allowance can meet Duterte deadline’

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star
âRelease of health workersâ allowance can meet Duterte deadlineâ
Last Friday, Duterte gave health and budget officials 10 days to pay health workers who have not received their allowances amid fears that the delayed release of allowances could affect the country’s pandemic response.
Miguel De Guzman, file

MANILA, Philippines — The giving of unpaid benefits to health care workers who are in the fight against COVID-19 would be completed within the deadline set by President Duterte, the Department of Health (DOH) said yesterday.

Last Friday, Duterte gave health and budget officials 10 days to pay health workers who have not received their allowances amid fears that the delayed release of allowances could affect the country’s pandemic response.

The President also ordered the DOH to use whatever funds the government has to address the complaints of medical frontliners on the slow release of special risk allowances (SRAs).

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said his agency has submitted to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) all documents needed to release P311 million for the SRA of an additional 20,156 health care workers.

The amount will cover services rendered from December 2020 to June 30, 2021.

“We are just waiting for the special allotment release order (SARO) from the DBM so we can download it to hospitals as soon as possible,” Duque told Duterte during a meeting of the government’s pandemic task force last Tuesday.

“Within your prescribed period of 10 days, we are hoping... DBM will release the SARO tomorrow, Mr. President. We have been following it up with them, Mr. President. And also, the contingent fund is already being prepared. So we are committed to deliver in the said timeframe that you have indicated last Friday,” he added.

Last June, the DBM released more than P9 billion for the risk allowance of health care workers. However, some medical frontliners complained that they have not received the benefits they are supposed to get under the two Bayanihan laws passed by Congress.

Yesterday, the DBM released P311.79 million to cover the SRA of public and private health workers. – Sheila Crisostomo, Elijah Felice Rosales

DOH

HEALTHWORKERS

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