Funds for SRA of health workers included in pending Bayanihan 3, not 2022 budget | Inquirer News
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Funds for SRA of health workers included in pending Bayanihan 3, not 2022 budget

/ 08:37 PM September 01, 2021
Funds for SRA of health workers included in pending Bayanihan 3, not 2022 budget

FRONT-LINERS’ PLIGHT Health workers appreciate how government leaders praise them as “modern-day heroes,” but they continue to appeal that their efforts in manning the pandemic front line be rewarded with proper pay and benefits. —NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

MANILA, Philippines — The funds for the special risk allowance (SRA) to be given to healthcare workers in the frontlines of the war against COVID-19 are apparently lodged in the still-pending Bayanihan 3, and not in the proposed 2022 national budget.

This was discovered after Marikina City Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo pointed out there has been no mention of SRA in the proposed budget of the Department of Health (DOH).

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“Nasama po ba ‘yan sa NEP 2022 kasi napansin ko po na may P17 billion na naka-allot for the HRH or Human Resources for Health pero wala po doon ‘yung salitang special risk allowance or meals and transportation allowance na alam naman po natin na ‘yan ang talagang kailangan na kailangan ibigay sa frontliners sa ngayon,” Quimbo said.

In response, Duque said the budget for the financial aid for the health workers is in the pending Bayanihan 3.

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“The additional budgetary support for the benefits is lodged in the Bayanihan 3 bill and that is what has been submitted,” Duque said.

But Quimbo, who is one of the principal authors of Bayanihan 3 in the House, pointed out that the measure is still “hanging in the balance” as it has only been approved by the lower chamber so far.

“Doon po sa sinabi ni Secretary Duque, unfortunately po ‘yung Bayanihan 3 ay hanging in the balance. ‘Yan po ay aprubado ng Kongreso pero hindi pa po tinetake-up ng Senado. Hindi tayo sure kung ‘yan ay magiging batas,” Quimbo said.

“So ano na ang plano natin? Saan natin kukunin yang pondo na yan?” she added.

The DBM recently released P311.8 million funds for the SRA of more than 20,000 health workers.

DOH Director Larry Cruz said they have so far disbursed P308 million of the P311.8 million funds.

These latest releases for the SRA will be paid to 20,208 public and private health workers who directly dealt with COVID-19 patients between December 20 last year and June 30 this year.

READ: DOH: P308-M disbursed to health facilities for SRA of healthcare workers

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