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DBM To Release Remaining PHP27 Billion Health Emergency Allowance

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DBM To Release Remaining PHP27 Billion Health Emergency Allowance

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Around PHP27 billion is set to be released by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on Friday in line with the directive of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to settle all unpaid claims for the Health Emergency Allowance (HEA) of healthcare workers.

The DBM made the announcement Thursday, saying the issuance of a Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) and Notice of Cash Allocation (NCA) amounting to PHP27.453 billion is upon the request of the Department of Health (DOH) last May.

The funding will cover the payment of 5,039,926 remaining validated unpaid HEA and 4,283 Covid-19 sickness and death compensation claims of eligible healthcare and non-healthcare workers, the DBM said.

“This is a promise fulfilled,” Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said.

“Kahit sa 2025 pa ito hinihiling ng DOH, sinikap po ng DBM na mas maaga itong tuparin, dahil deserve po ito ng ating mga manggagawa sa health sector (Although the DOH asked for this in 2025, the DBM did everything to fulfill it sooner, because our workers in the health sector deserve it),” she said.

According to DBM data, a total of PHP91.283 billion has been released to the DOH for the Public Health Emergency Benefits and Allowances (PHEBA), covering all benefits for healthcare workers from 2021 to 2023.

Of this amount, PHP73.261 billion has been allocated specifically for HEA.

PHEBA includes Special Risk Allowance, compensation for Covid-19 sickness and death, and additional benefits like meals, accommodation, and transportation allowances for healthcare workers.

 

Eligible for HEA

Barangay health workers (BHWs) who were part of the government’s response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic are entitled to receive Health Emergency Allowance (HEA), the DOH said.

In a Viber message to reporters, the DOH said BHWs assigned to licensed health facilities or health-related establishments involved in the pandemic response “in accordance with the National Action Plan against Covid-19 PDITR+ strategies are eligible for the HEA”.

“Once the Department of Budget and Management has downloaded the PHP27-billion Special Allotment Release Order to the Department of Health, we will immediately sub-allot it to our respective Centers for Health Development (CHD),” it said.

The CHD will facilitate the disbursement of the HEA to the local government units and private health facilities under their jurisdiction.

Disbursements are “subject to requirements such as liquidations from previous fund transfers and Memorandum of Agreement.” (PNA)