The Department of Health still has over P15 billion worth of health emergency allowance (HEA) to distribute to health care workers (HCWs) who served in public and private hospitals during the pandemic.
Usec. Enrique Tayag reported that the DOH has already distributed P46.4B HEA.
“Around P15.2B have not been distri-buted due to many reasons, first of which is for the beneficiaries to submit documentary requirements,” he said.
Sec. Ted Herbosa already met with private hospital associations, such as the United Private Hospitals Union of the Philippines, to explain the situation.
Tayag said upon continuous investigation and monitoring, the DOH learned that some health care workers in the private sector already received at least five months’ worth of their HEA.
He said the current administration is still taking care of “the arrears from the past two years but it is expecting to release the pending allowances within the year.”
“Since there is no longer a public health emergency, the HEA will only be up to the time the public emergency was lifted,” he said.
President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. lifted the state of public health emergency due to Covid-19 on July 22, two months after the World Health Organization declared the end to Covid-19 as global health emergency.
The declaration revoked all pandemic-related orders including the grant of emergency allowances and benefits to health care workers.
During his se-cond State of the Nation Address, Marcos assured health care workers of the release of their pending allowances and other benefits.
“DOH will continue to coordinate with the DBM for the remaining amount, so we can get it and distribute it to those who need the HEA,” Tayag added. – PNA