They were called the “heroes” in the fight against the deadly coronavirus, yet certain quarters appeared to have easily forgotten these heroic frontliners and neglected to give their rightful compensation.
The Private Hospital Association of the Philippines (PHAP) said these health workers have yet to receive their so-called “One COVID allowance.”
“Hinihintay ang benefits nila sa One COVID Allowance, supposedly na-release na ‘yan ng DBM (Department of Budget and Management),” PHAP president Jose Rene de Grano.
As early as last February, Malacañang said the budget department has released some P7.9 billion for the allowance of the healthcare frontliners.
“We’re wondering why our different hospitals have yet to receive it,” De Grano said.
He disclosed that about 50 percent of the health workers in private hospitals have left for jobs abroad, posing a serious setback in the country’s hospital services.
Some public and private hospitals earlier reported a surge in non-COVID admissions as patients with chronic diseases sought consultation after coronavirus infections declined.
The Department of Health (DOH) last month said it has disbursed some P86.5 million to 54 health facilities since January 2022, while P403 million has been allocated for 266 medical facilities, but was “readily available.”
“However it is pending and for issuance of check due to lack of submitted documents, especially the signed memorandum of agreement and liquidation report from the previously transferred funds to the health facility,” the DOH said in a statement last May 25.
A total of P639.96 million in special risk allowance has been disbursed to 234 health facilities since February. Of this amount, P581.3 million was claimed by 218 facilities, while P58.66 million earmarked for 16 facilities remained unclaimed, the DOH said.
Around P80.77 million worth of meals, accommodation, and transportation (MAT) allowances has been issued to 47 health hospitals, of which P76.63 million was claimed by 34 facilities, with P4.14 million still be claimed by 13 health facilities, the DOH said.