Over 120,000 healthcare workers, as well as other personnel involved in the country’s pandemic response, have not yet received their One COVID-19 Allowance (OCA), a top official of the Department of Health (DOH) said Sunday.
DOH Undersecretary and treatment czar Leopoldo Vega, during an interview with Super Radyo dzBB, said that 400,000 out of the 526,727 healthcare workers were already provided with the OCA by the national government.
His statement was made after Private Hospitals Association Philippines (PHAPI) president Dr. Jose de Grano said on Thursday that the majority of the private hospitals have not yet received their OCA, despite the DOH and the Department of Budget and Management telling otherwise.
The DOH is now coordinating with PHAPI regarding the list of hospitals whose health workers have not yet received their OCA, Vega said.
“We discussed yesterday if president Rene de Grano can provide the list of hospitals that have not yet received their OCA so we could coordinate with them and give them a response. He approved,” Vega said.
The DBM has allocated a P7.92 billion budget for the COVID-19 allowance of public and private healthcare workers and non-healthcare workers.
Of this amount, P4.5 billion is for the benefits of 100,313 plantilla workers of the DOH in public hospitals, offices, and rehabilitation centers including those in military and state university hospitals.
Meanwhile, the remaining P3.42 billion will be for 426,414 health workers who are stationed in local government units and private health facilities, among others.
Vega said those identified as being at high risk for the viral disease will be given P9,000; P6,000 for medium risk; and P3,000 for low risk.
Vega also assured that health workers who have not yet received their COVID-19 allowance will do so under the incoming administration.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier signed into law a measure mandating continuous benefits to all healthcare workers in the country during the COVID-19 pandemic and other future public health emergencies.