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Duque says some funds for health workers' SRA identified, distribution may start Wednesday

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Tuesday said some of the funds for the special risk allowances (SRAs) of healthcare workers are already identified and could be distributed by Wednesday.

During a House Committee on Health briefing about PhilHealth, Duque said a total of P311 million would be sourced from the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefit Fund to finance the SRAs of more than 20,000 healthcare workers.

"Mayroon tayong na-identify na, which we will get according to DBM (Department of Budget and Management) Usec. Tina Canda from the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefit Fund, ilalabas ito P311 million, within the day," Duque said.

(We have already identified the P311 million fund from the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefit Fund, which could be released within the day.)

"So hopefully by tomorrow, we can start implementing this," he added.

President Rodrigo Duterte over the weekend directed both Duque and the DBM to pay the already delayed allowances to frontliners within 10 days.

Canda had already said the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund is being eyed to finance the SRA for healthcare workers in the government, while other sources are being eyed for those in the private sector.

In a statement issued Tuesday, Duque said the Department of Health is working with the DBM, Center for Health Development, local authorities, and hospitals to process the release of the SRA.

“I have also given marching orders to concerned offices to comply with the directives of the President on distributing SRA to our healthcare workers within 10 days,” he said.

Following Duterte's order, the DBM also assured health workers that their SRA would be released within 10 days. —KBK, GMA News