Some 400,000 Frontliners Get COVID Risk Allowance: DOH

More health workers to receive the benefit soon.
Photo/s: REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

Over 400,000 healthcare workers received the special risk allowance that is due to them under the law, the Department of Health said Wednesday as it asked the government for additional funds to cover more beneficiaries.

The total 456,013 healthcare workers who got their risk allowance make up 87% of the 526,727 medical personnel eligible for the benefit, Health Asec. Maylene Beltran told senators during the DOH budget briefing.

The risk allowance for the remaining 13% or 70,714 healthcare workers is still being processed, she said.

Beltran said the DOH requested from the Department of Budget and Management an additional P2.7 billion to cover the risk allowance for more health workers. The budget agency has yet to respond to their request.

One of the challenges faced by the department in releasing the benefit to healthcare workers is the lack of documentation from local government hospitals and private healthcare facilities, Beltran said.

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The DOH will also consider providing risk allowance to outsourced hospital personnel who may be exposed to COVID-19, she said.

Under the Bayanihan pandemic response laws, health workers directly catering to COVID-19 patients are entitled to a P5,000 special risk allowance per month.

Senators, however, have argued that this should cover all health workers whether or not they are directly treating COVID-19 cases.


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