Medical front-liners assigned in hospitals and healthcare facilities and are directly attending to Covid-19 patients will still receive special risk allowance (SRA), a health official said Monday.
In a statement, Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Roger Tong-An said deployed human resources for health such as Nurse Deployment Project nurses and Doctors to the Barrios are not covered by the SRA suspension as they are entitled to it by the nature of their functions or assignment.
Tong-An clarified that Department Memorandum 2020-0285 on the suspension of the SRA implementation is “explicitly for the DOH Central Office, Centers for Health Development (regional offices), Food and Drug Administration and Bureau of Quarantine employees pending legal review at the time of its issuance.
To ensure the protection of public health workers, Section 4 (D) of Republic Act 11469 provides for the grant of “Covid-19 SRA”.
Consequently, Administrative Order 28, which authorized the grant of SRA to public health workers during the period of enhanced community quarantine relative to the Covid-19 outbreak, defined public health worker as “medical, allied medical, and other necessary personnel assigned in hospitals and healthcare facilities and who are directly catering to and in contact with Covid-19 patients, persons under investigation or persons under monitoring”.
“To ensure that AO 28, implemented by Department of Budget and Management Circular 2020-2, was executed in accordance to its letter, we reached a collective decision to issue suspension of SRA distribution in the excluded offices (DOH Central Office, CHDs, FDA, and BOQ only) until a definitive opinion on the scope and application of SRA according to pertinent laws could be provided,” Tong-An said.
The DOH, he added, would study “whether some units in the excluded offices who directly cater to, or are in contact with patients, such as those assigned in Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facilities can be provided with the benefit”.
“Our office aims to be of public service and aims nothing more than to serve the country and its citizens. We are open to criticisms and queries. However, we encourage that the same be carried out with proper verification of information. We are going through an arduous ordeal and it is best to face this pandemic united than to create unnecessary, unjustified and unwarranted conclusions giving additional panic and stress to our citizens,” Tong-An said. (PNA)