DBM Releases ₱1.08 Billion to Medical Workers Hit by COVID-19 in the Philippines
Medical frontliners and non-medical personnel employed in medical facilities infected by COVID-19 this year can anticipate receiving compensation from the Department of Health (DOH).
The Department of Budget Management (DBM) stated that they released ₱1.08 billion to DOH to cover the COVID-19 sickness and death compensation of health workers.
This represents the entire allocation under the General Appropriations Act of 2022 for the sickness and death assistance of health workers who got infected with COVID-19 in the line of duty.
Last May 12, both DBM and DOH issued the implementing guidelines for this benefit package covering the fiscal year 2022.
Under regulations, healthcare and non-healthcare workers in medical facilities who experienced mild to moderate COVID-19 cases will acquire ₱15,000. On the other hand, those severely infected will receive ₱100,000.
This represents the entire allocation under the General Appropriations Act of 2022 for the sickness and death benefits of health workers who contracted COVID-19 in the line of duty.
Last May 12, the DBM and DOH issued the implementing guidelines for this compensation package covering the fiscal year 2022.
Under the rules, both health care and non-healthcare workers in medical facilities who experienced a mild or moderate COVID-19 case will get ₱15,000. Meanwhile, Those who were downed by severe or critical COVID-19 infection will receive ₱100,000.
Additionally, ₱1 million is allotted for the family of healthcare workers and non-healthcare workers who died due to COVID-19 while in the line of duty.
The joint DBM-DOH circular mentioned that this compensation scheme would be granted to qualified recipients, “without prejudice to other existing benefits provided under applicable government insurance systems and their governing laws.”
The circular cited that there will be no double-dipping on this taxable compensation, “except in cases of reinfection.” DBM expressed that since the fund release was sourced from the DOH’s 2022 agency budget.
The health agency would transfer the compensation to DOH-retained and corporate hospitals, treatment and rehabilitation centers, centers for health development, and other attached agencies and institutions.
Last January, DOH stated that they would switch the special risk allowances given to health care workers with the One COVID-19 Allowance (OCA), which is described as “more inclusive and responsive.”
DOH mentioned that OCA would be distributed pro-rata to all medical workers engaged in the COVID-19 response depending on their COVID-19 exposure classification.
OCA has a total allocation of ₱50 billion in the 2022 budget. However, only ₱7.9 billion has been approved, and the rest is classified as “for later release.”
DOH expressed, “Considering the expected high number of eligible health workers. DOH is constantly in coordination with the Department of Finance to ensure that the remaining ₱42 billion currently lodged as unprogrammed funds will be prioritized to ensure the implementation of the OCA until the state of national emergency has been lifted.”
The current administration also signed RA 11712, or the Public Health Emergency Benefits and Allowances for Health Care Workers Act, which grants “continuing” benefits to health workers last April 27.
Under RA 11712, medical workers must receive an “emergency allowance” for every month of service during a state of a public health emergency.