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Amid rising healthcare worker unrest, DOH says over P237 million in SRAs already disbursed

Published Aug 31, 2021 8:48 pm

Following protests from overworked healthcare workers over delays in their pay and perceived failings of the Health department in handling the COVID-19 pandemic, the DOH said that P237.28 million in special risk allowance for healthcare workers has now been disbursed.

The DOH said that P237.28 million out of the P311 million in funds for the special risk allowance or SRA for COVID-19 health care workers have already been disbursed to local government and private hospitals.

“Meron po tayong P74.5 million na ready na rin po ang tseke for distribution to various LGUs and private facilities,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online briefing today, Aug. 31.

The Department of Budget and Management released the P311.8 million as SRA budget last Aug. 25 to benefit over 20,000 public and private health care workers.

Vergeire said they also already requested P201 million for the SRA of 17,000 more healthcare workers. The SRA, Vergeire said, is given on a prorated basis up to P5,000 per month depending on the number of days a healthcare worker worked and cared for a COVID-19 patient.

“We already requested for the 2nd batch of funds para sa kadaragdagan pang nakapagsumite sa regional offices. At hinihintay na lang po namin na matugunan ng DBM ang pag-release ng pondong ito,” said Vergeire.

In an earlier interview today over ANC, Aug. 31, Vergeire admitted delays in the release of the SRA, which resulted in protests from healthcare workers.

“Most of the delay would come from the facilities complying with the requirements… so we are trying to streamline that,” she said.

(Thumbnail and banner photo: Healthcare workers from the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital stage a protest on Aug. 31, 2021, demanding the immediate release of their COVID-19 benefits while also calling for Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to resign. KJ Rosales / The Philippine STAR)