The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday said P9 billion worth of special risk allowance (SRA) for health workers has been released to regional offices and hospitals ahead of the expiry of the Bayanihan 2 law on June 30.
Bayanihan 2 provides several benefits for health workers, including a monthly SRA for those directly catering to COVID-19 patients, actual hazard duty pay for frontline workers, as well as life insurance, accommodation, transportation, and meals.
In a briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the funds were handed over to regional offices and hospitals immediately after the SRA was released to the DOH on June 25.
“Gagawin na lang ‘yung pirmahan ng memorandum of agreement para maibigay na agad-agad sa ating mga healthcare workers itong benepisyo na ito,” she said.
In a Palace news conference, Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega said P7 billion went to public and private institutions accommodating COVID-19 patients while P2 billion went to hospitals under the DOH.
“We are expecting na ang disbursement po nito ay (We expect that the disbursement will run) until Wednesday,” he said.
The Office of the President also approved earlier this month the monetization of health workers’ accommodation, transportation, and meal allowances.
However, Vergeire said the national government has yet to find a source of funding for these benefits but assured health workers that the DOH is coordinating with the Budget Department.
House Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez previously said it was unlikely that Bayanihan 2 would be extended.
Senate Finance committee chairman Senator Sonny Angara said benefits for health workers provided by Bayanihan 2 will continue to be granted for as long as the country is under a state of national emergency.—AOL, GMA News