It looks like the country’s frontline healthcare workers will have to wait a lot longer for their much-awaited One COVID-19 Allowance (OCA).
The Department of Health (DOH) said it cannot release the funds for the OCA without liquidation from hospitals that have already received the financial benefits.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Thursday said they have instructed the hospitals involved, both public and private, to liquidate their cash advances on the government’s response to the COVID pandemic.
More than 120,000 healthcare workers and personnel nationwide have yet to receive their OCA.
“So you cannot just be disbursing and disbursing public funds without the proper accountabilities, without the proper liquidation report,” Duque said in an interview with CNN Philippines.
“Once they have liquidated, I told them even partial liquidation is okay. There has to be liquidation. Otherwise, the DOH will be liable and it will be a subject of a COA observation and a possible disallowance.),” Duque said.
“We told them, please submit the liquidation report and the liquidation report and also the memorandum of agreement because these are all embedded in the guidelines for the grant of such benefits and also under the law,” he said.
Last May, the DOH said it has released P86.5 million under OCA to 54 health facilities since January 2022.
Under the OCA, those classified to be high risk will be given P9,000 per month, those at moderate risk will receive P6,000, and those at low risk will be given P3,000.
On the other hand, Duque said he personally monitors the disbursement of the OCA.
“I monitor the release of that. They really deserve it, these benefits, the OCA is long overdue.),” he said.