DBM releases addtional P888 million for special risk allowances

Published by rudy Date posted on September 5, 2021

by Elijah Felice Rosales – The Philippine Star, 5 Sep 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released an additional P888.12 million to cover another round of special risk allowances (SRA) for health workers.

The DBM said the amount was sourced from the miscellaneous personnel benefits fund and unprogrammed appropriations of the national budget for this year.

As such, the DBM has now issued P1.2 billion in additional funds to pay for the SRA of health care workers in public and private hospitals.

The DBM said it will also obtain another P407.08 million from the contingent fund for 2021 to settle its remaining obligations to health care workers.
Once this is delivered, the agency will have completed the SRA for the 117,926 identified beneficiaries of the extra pay nationwide.

The DBM reminded health workers that the SRA will be issued on top of existing compensations provided under laws like the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers.
It also committed to release the remainder of the SRA balance as soon as it can. “Rest assured that the DBM will facilitate the prompt release of the funds for the SRA to ensure that all eligible health care workers will receive their rightful benefit,” the DBM said.

Last week, the DBM transferred an initial P311.79 million to bankroll the SRA payment of public and private health workers providing service in COVID-19 wards.

Like this round of allocation, the DBM charged the first tranche to the miscellaneous personnel benefits fund and unprogrammed appropriations of the 2021 budget.

Health workers catering to the needs of COVID-19 patients may acquire SRA of up to P5,000 a month covering the period of Dec. 20, 2020 to June 30, 2021. The amount of the extra pay is computed based on the number of days the medical respondent reported for work.

The DBM and the Department of Health (DOH) were pressed to issue the SRA amid protests from health workers frustrated by the government’s apparent neglect of their situation.

Doctors and nurses, as well as hospital staff, took to the streets last Wednesday to demand the release of their SRA and the resignation of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

As health workers deplored the delay in the release of their SRA, the Commission on Audit (COA) flagged the DOH over deficiencies in the way it spent over P67 billion in public funds.

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