Some hospitals give health workers food not cash incentives -- Defensor | Inquirer News

Some hospitals give health workers food not cash incentives — Defensor

/ 01:58 PM June 03, 2021

Rep. Mike Defensor and Marcoleta proceeded with Ivermectin distribution

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) and some government hospitals may be violating the Bayanihan 2 law by giving health workers food items instead of cash incentives, Anakalusugan Partylist Rep. Mike Defensor said Thursday.

Defensor said he has received complaints that instead of cash, specialty hospitals in Quezon City are giving incentives in the form of food items. The lawmaker, however, did not name the said hospitals.


He said, health workers in these hospitals were expected to receive up to P40,000 in additional emolument last week but were told that they would get it in the form of rice and groceries.


“Because of the pandemic, the Bayanihan 2 law grants our health personnel a special monthly risk allowance on top of their hazard pay and other benefits. As far as I could remember, the mandate is to give these benefits in cash,” Defensor said in a statement.

“That deprives our health workers of spending flexibility. Since June is the school enrollment period,
they might want to spend their money on their children’s tuition or school supplies,” the lawmaker added.

Defensor warned DOH and hospital officials that they would be open to suspicion if they proceeded to
covert funds for cash incentives into food items.

“The amount involved is huge even for just one hospital. If for instance, there are 500 hospital
personnel entitled to P40,000 each, the sum that would be converted to food items would be P20 million,” Defensor said.

Under Bayanihan 2, a “COVID-19 special risk allowance” shall be granted by the national government for all
public and private health workers directly catering to or in contact with COVID-19 patients for every month that they are serving during the state of national emergency.

“We want to know how much in benefits has been paid to our health workers,” Defensor said as he
asked the DOH to provide an update on its compliance with Bayanihan 2.


On Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte extended until the end of June the grant of special risk allowance (SRA) to all health workers supporting COVID-19 patients.

Duterte signed on Tuesday Administrative Order No. 42, ordering the continuous grant of SRA of up to
P5,000 to medical frontliners.

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