Department of Health (DoH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire announced that health workers are set to receive their allowances in cash following the “repurposing” of the allotment to other coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) responses.
The DoH official revealed that in December last year, the agency received reports that hospitals were unable to use the money for heath workers’ transportation, meals and accommodation.
She explained that hospitals could not use the budget due to certain rules in the procurement and fund utilization, which prompted the Health department retrieve the allocation.
“We will return it to the quick response fund,” said Vergeire, stressing that the money should not be put on hold as the year will soon be over.
Vergeire also noted that upon the return of the allowances, the agency had used it for responses related to Covid-19, including the purchase of test kits, although Malacañang has directed the Health department to just monetize the free accommodation and meals intended for health workers.
I want to assure our healthcare workers that we are looking for the fund sources and this will be given to you in cash. We ask for your patience,” Vergeire said.
To recall, Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega disclosed that the hazard pay and special risk allowance for health frontline workers from January to June this year are still being processed by the Department of Budget and Management.
However, health workers are still lamenting over their low and delayed pay and stressed that they have not received their hazard pay since January this year.