CNN Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to release additional funds for healthcare workers (HCW) on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“DBM, I am giving you ten days,” Duterte said in a taped address to the nation that aired on Saturday.
The President gave the order amid complaints from thousands of medical frontliners that they have yet to receive their special risk allowances (SRAs).
Health Secretary Francisco Duque said his department has already requested an additional P311 million for the SRAs of 20,156 unpaid healthcare workers.
The Department of Health (DOH) has also asked the DBM for an additional P3.6 billion for the renewal of contracts of medical personnel employed through the DOH’s emergency hiring program, including the 4,800 who are part of the COVID-19 vaccination drive, the secretary added.
DBM Officer-In-Charge Tina Canda vowed to comply with Duterte’s order, adding the department has already identified funding sources for the DOH’s budget requests.
“Doon sa SRA, pwede po nating i-release mula sa miscellaneous personnel benefits fund,” Canda said.
“Sa vaccinators, part of that – may nakita kaming P1.6 billion sa DOH pertaining to 2020 (budget) na hindi nila nagamit…Iyong balanse po na kailangan, pwede po nating kunin sa contingent fund,” she added.