DBM releases P7.9 billion in COVID-19 frontliners’ allowances
MANILA, Philippines — Over half-a-million health care workers and other non-medical personnel in the front-lines of the prolonged fight against COVID-19 will receive a total of P7.92 billion in allowances.
In a statement on Thursday, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said the amount released to the Department of Health (DOH) covered the “one COVID-19 allowance” (OCA) of 526,727 eligible workers.
These workers included those working in both public and private health facilities. Non-health care workers were also made eligible if their job entailed COVID-19 response, the DBM said.
The DBM said P4.5-billion worth had been set aside for 100,313 plantilla personnel of the DOH who have been on duty in public hospitals (including those run by the military and state universities), offices, as well as rehabilitation centers.
“The remaining P3.42 billion is for 426,414 health workers reporting in local government units (LGUs) and private health facilities, among others,” the DBM said.
OCA allowed eligible workers to receive an amount “depending on their level of COVID-19 exposure” under a DOH administrative order issued this year.
“Health workers who are identified to be at high risk shall receive P9,000 a month, while those who are determined to be in moderate and low risk are entitled to a monthly benefit of P6,000 and P3,000, respectively,” the DBM said, citing the DOH order.
“The benefit shall be given in full amount, provided that the health professional physically reports to work for at least 96 hours per month; otherwise the benefit shall be prorated,” the DBM added.
The DBM said that besides the amount it already released which was part of the DOH’s agency budget for 2022, “an additional P42 billion can be tapped under unprogrammed appropriations for the provision of OCA this year.”
Unprogrammed appropriations in record P5.02-trillion 2022 national budget will be sourced from either foreign borrowings or excess revenues.
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