More than 120,000 healthcare workers and other personnel involved in the country’s pandemic response have not yet received their One COVID-19 Allowance (OCA), a top official of the Department of Health (DOH) said Sunday.
In a Super Radyo dzBB interview, DOH Undersecretary and treatment czar Leopoldo Vega noted that 400,000 out of the 526,727 healthcare workers were already provided with the OCA by the national government.
This came after Private Hospitals Association Philippines (PHAPI) president Dr. Jose de Grano said on Thursday that the majority of the private hospitals have not yet received their OCA, despite the DOH and the Department of Budget and Management telling otherwise.
Vega said the DOH is now coordinating with PHAPI regarding the list of hospitals whose health workers have not yet received their OCA.
“Napag-usapan po namin kahapon kung puwede ibigay ni President Rene de Grano ‘yung mga hospitals na hindi pa nakatatanggap para ma-coordinate at mabigyan ng tugon. Okay naman, sabi niya ibibigay niya,” he added.
(We discussed yesterday if President Rene de Grano can provide the list of hospitals that have not yet received their OCA so we could coordinate with them and give them a response. He approved.)
The DBM has allocated a P7.92 billion budget for the COVID-19 allowance of public and private healthcare workers and non-healthcare workers.
Of this amount, P4.5 billion is for the benefits of 100,313 plantilla workers of the DOH in public hospitals, offices, and rehabilitation centers including those in military and state university hospitals. Meanwhile, the remaining P3.42 billion will be for 426,414 health workers who are stationed in local government units and private health facilities, among others.
Vega explained that those identified as being at high risk for the viral disease will be given P9,000; P6,000 for medium risk; and P3,000 for low risk.
He further assured that health workers who have not yet received their COVID-19 allowance will do so under the incoming administration.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier signed into law a measure mandating continuous benefits to all healthcare workers in the country during the COVID-19 pandemic and other future public health emergencies. —KG, GMA News