DBM releases P1.19B for health workers’ SRA | Inquirer Business
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DBM releases P1.19B for health workers’ SRA

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 05:30 AM January 22, 2022

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released P1.19 billion to pay the special risk allowances (SRA) of health workers in the front lines of the prolonged fight against COVID-19.

The DBM’s special allotment release order document showed the amount was released to the Department of Health (DOH) on Jan. 20, after President Duterte approved the funds on Jan. 14.

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Covering unpaid SRA from Dec. 20, 2020, to June 30, 2021, the allotment was charged against the contingent fund in the P4.51-trillion 2021 national budget, whose validity was extended by Congress until the end of this year.

In a statement on Friday, the DBM said this latest fund release would pay the SRA of 63,812 health-care workers in public and private institutions who had been exposed to COVID-19 patients last year.

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The monthly SRA, a supplemental allowance, amounted to not more than P5,000 on a prorated basis, which reflected the number of days that the recipient health workers reported for work that month. The SRA was on top of the existing benefits they were receiving under the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers.

The DBM said that to date, it released SRA totaling P11.86 billion to 562,928 health-care workers.

The DBM released the statement a day after the DOH said it would replace the SRA now being given to health-care workers with another one, called One COVID-19 Allowance (OCA).

According to the DOH, the OCA will be distributed pro rata to all health workers involved in the COVID-19 response depending on their COVID-19 exposure classification.

The DOH said P1.08 billion was allocated in the General Appropriations Act of 2022 for the sickness and death benefits of health workers who contracted COVID-19 in the line of duty.

The OCA, on the other hand, has an allocation of P50 billion in the 2022 budget but only P7.9 billion has been tagged for the purpose and that fund was classified “for later release.”

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