DOH seeks ₱49B for health workers’ monthly allowance

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 29) — The Department of Health is seeking an additional budget worth ₱49 billion to fund the monthly allowance of health workers at risk.

During the House of Representatives’ plenary debates on the proposed 2022 budget of the DOH, Cebu 5th District Rep. Vincent Franco Frasco, sponsor of the agency’s proposed allocation, said 526,727 workers will be covered by the funding.

It will include all doctors, nurses, barangay workers, DOH personnel and the like who are listed on the agency’s inventory and are deemed exposed to risk. Those who do not directly handle patients but are also facing health threats, like janitors, are also included, Frasco added.

He noted there are 399,592 high-risk healthcare workers, 47,173 medium-risk workers, and 79,962 low-risk workers. Each will be receiving ₱9,000, ₱6,000, and ₱3,000, respectively.

Last week, the DOH raised the proposal during the joint committee hearing in the Senate.

The department said the One COVID-19 Allowance will consolidate the existing benefits of healthcare workers like the Special Risk Allowance, Active Hazard Duty Pay as well as the Meal, Accommodation, and Transportation Allowance, and life insurance. It will also include ₱1 billion for contingency fund in case a surge occurs, for a total budget of around ₱50 billion.

If passed into law, Congress will have to find a way to fund this since the proposed 2022 national budget has no allocation for special allowances for healthcare.