Funding has already been provided to the Department of Health (DOH) for special risk allowance (SRA) or hazard pay of health workers caring for COVID-19 patients, according to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on Monday.
DBM Assistant Secretary Kim Robert de Leon said P9.02 billion in funds for the hazard pay of 298,000 health workers nationwide was released on Friday.
Each health worker will receive about P5,000 per month.
They will be retroactive or paid from December 2020 to June 30, 2021, when the authority to issue SRA under Bayanihan 2 expires.
“Ngayong nai-release na ang pondo sa DOH maasahan ng ating health workers na pinoproseso na ang pag-download ng pondo sa mga ospital, sa mga regional centers for health developments, including private hospitals upang matanggap na ng mga individual health workers not later than June 30, 2021,” said De Leon.
“Mage-expire na ‘yung ating Bayanihan 2 ngayong katapusan ng June so ang benepisyong ito mula pa noong September hanggang sa December last year na dapat ibigay sa ating mga health workers subalit hanggang ngayon parang naninikluhod pa rin ang mga health workers sa Department of Health at sa ating gobyerno na ibigay na talaga ito,” said Robert Mendoza, national president of the Alliance of Health Workers.
Funds for hazard pay of health workers from December 2020 already in DOH
Mendoza said they are asking the Department of Health to return about P300 million to hospitals for meals, accommodation, and transportation benefits of health workers under Bayanihan law.
According to the group, such a benefit is intended abruptly recognizing the contribution of health workers against the COVID-19 pandemic.
He explained that the DOH has already used the funds for other things such as hiring additional health workers, vaccination programs, and compensation for health workers who fell ill with COVID-19.
Some health workers have been given such benefits in various forms, such as giving gift checks. But they prefer to make it cash because health workers know better what they need.