President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the release of P1.185 billion charged against the 2021 Contingent Fund to cover the Special Risk Allowance of eligible private healthcare workers and non-Department of Health plantilla personnel who are directly catering to or in contact with COVID-19 patients and who have yet to receive the benefit.
Senator Christopher Go said it was just proper to give them additional compensation in recognition of their sacrifices.
The Department of Budget and Management has previously released P8.189 billion for SRA benefits which covered 497,043 healthcare workers.
The monthly SRA is at around P5,000, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a recent meeting with Duterte.
Duterte said the P5,000 SRA is “too small, considering the attendant danger to the health care workers.”
“They should be given more. Take into account the possibility of danger, that they themselves will get the virus,” the President said.
“I will increase this. I cannot say yet by how much, though,” Duterte said, adding that he will have to take it up with the Budget department.
Earlier, Go urged concerned authorities to exercise flexibility in implementing the terms of the Bayanihan to Recover As One Act, which serves as the legal basis for the SRA.
Given the significant number of COVID-19 cases admitted in the country’s healthcare institutions, Go said practically all healthcare workers are entitled to the benefit.
As chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health, Go authored and co-sponsored Senate Bill No. 2421 which will provide health workers with a fixed monthly COVID-19 Risk Allowance for the duration of the current state of emergency in lieu of the SRA and other financial compensation granted under Bayanihan 2.
Under the measure, those eligible for the benefits will include all health care workers and other necessary personnel assigned in health