Following the order of President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday, the Department of Health (DOH) announced Monday, Aug. 23, that it would release medical frontliners’ special risk allowance (SRA) once the office of the President approves the use of DOH’s contingency funds.
DOH Usec. Rosario Vergeire said, “Within 10 days po ang binigay sa amin ng pangulo. At ito po ay ipapatupad natin sa lalong madaling panahon. Inaayos lang at hinihintay natin ang sagot ng Presidente sa DBM so we can use the funds.”
Vergeire continued that the DOH has already instructed all units concerned to prepare and finalize the lists of additional healthcare workers until Thursday, Aug. 26. The department is also currently working with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to identify the source of funds for the healthcare workers’ SRA, which will be coming from the miscellaneous benefit funds of the DOH.
The DBM, on the other hand, is waiting for approval from the Office of the President to release said funds. As of writing, P311 million is allocated for the additional 20,156 private and public healthcare workers.
Vergeire explained the process of distribution of the benefits to be given, “What we do is we secure funds sa national [government] para po dito sa allowances or benefits ng ating mga health care workers.” She added that their regional offices and hospitals should submit a list of their healthcare workers to estimate the amount needed for the funds. The DOH will then transfer funds to its regional offices and instruct their facilities to submit the requirements needed before receiving the funds.
As for local government units and private hospitals, a memorandum of agreement between them and the DOH is needed as “that’s the only way that [their] regional office can transfer funds to them because they are not part of the DOH family.”
She said the recommendation to directly transfer funds to hospitals is still in process as the DOH will discuss this matter with different government agencies. “We’re trying to find ways so we can streamline para sa mga susunod na batches hindi na po ganito ang proseso natin. We’re trying to improve our processes.”
Banner photo by Miguel de Guzman/Philippine Star