DOH: More than P378M HCW Covid-19 benefits yet to be liquidated

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MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday reported that over P378 million worth of Covid-19 benefits of health care workers have yet to be liquidated.

The DOH data showed that a total of P378,005,551 allotted for the Special Risk Allowance (SRA), meals, accommodation and transportation (MAT) allowance, One COVID-19 allowance (OCA) of health workers have not been liquidated by health facilities, local government units and private hospitals.

Based on the records, the unliquidated funding for SRA amounted to P174,771,486, P41,207,700 for MAT and P162,026,355 for OCA.

The DOH encouraged health facilities and private entities to immediately liquidate the benefits provided to medical frontliners.

“These cash benefits should be distributed to the rightful beneficiaries. Health workers deserve to be paid on time,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

Several hospitals have not liquidated the funds approved by the DOH regional offices, she said.

“That’s why we cannot still release the money to the health care workers. We are trying to facilitate process. Secretary Francisco Duque wants to speed up the process. The money is there. What should be done is for the DOH and hospitals to coordinate. They have to submit the requirements and we will process it as soon as possible,” Vergeire said.

The Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines Inc. earlier stated that its members have yet to get the funding allocated for the Covid-19 benefits of their workers.

Migration of Nurses

A group of Filipino nurses reported that the government’s inability to express appreciation for nurses and other health workers has resulted in a massive migration of nurses abroad.

The Filipino Nurses United (FNU) said the government has failed to address issues confronting nurses.

According to FNU national president Maristela Abenojar, they have long been asking the government to provide nurses P50,000 as entry salary in both public and private hospitals.

To address the problem of severe and chronic understaffing, Abenojar said, the government should ensure a nurse-to-patient ratio and regularize all contractual nurses.

The group also lamented that out of 172,589 locally employed nurses, 106,694 nurses in the private sector receive only P537 per day in the National Capital Region.

“In the government sector, nurses have relatively higher pay but suffer from work overload in the same way the private sector nurses do,” Abenojar said.
The group likewise hit the delayed distribution of incentives and benefits for health workers.

According to DOH data, the group mentioned that 60 percent of health workers have not received their Covid-19 benefits.

Out of 915,219 registered nurses in the Philippines, a total of 316,415 had migrated as of December 2021.

House committees to hold hearings during break

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Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.