Marcos touts release of COVID-19 frontliners’ emergency allowance

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star
Marcos touts release of COVID-19 frontliners� emergency allowance
Bill seeks to protect frontliners, patients from discrimination A medical worker sprays disinfectant on a resident before taking an x-ray and an oropharyngeal swab during a mass testing for the COVID-19 coronavirus at a park in Quezon City, suburban Manila on April 15, 2020.
AFP / Ted Aljibe

MANILA, Philippines — President Marcos highlighted the distribution of the bulk of the pandemic emergency allowance to frontliners in his message for Health Workers’ Day, assuring members of the sector that the government values their service to the nation.

“Consistent with our promise, the administration has distributed P59.8 billion or 78.92 percent of the COVID health emergency allowance for our hero frontliners,” Marcos said in a Facebook post Tuesday night.

“This Health Workers’ Day, we value the sacrifices of our frontliners who serve wholeheartedly and who have shown the world the skill and concern of Filipinos,” he added.

Under the Bayanihan to Recover As One Act, health workers who directly catered to or were in contact with COVID-19 patients are entitled to a special risk allowance for every month that they served during the state of national emergency.

In a recent statement, the budget department said it has released P91.283 billion for public health emergency benefits and allowances from 2021 to 2023.

The item covers benefits like health emergency allowances, special risk allowances, compensation for COVID-19 sickness and death, meals, accommodation and transportation allowances.

In March, the Department of Health reported that P76.1 billion worth of health emergency allowance covering more than 8.5 million claims from July 2021 to July 2023 had been released.

According to the agency, the General Appropriations Act gave only P19.9 billion for health emergency allowance under programmed appropriations for fiscal year 2024.

DOH said it has released P19.7 billion or 99 percent of the amount to all eligible health facilities.

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