After Delays, Duque Says P311 Million Released for Frontliners' Risk Allowance

Some 20,000 health workers will soon receive their special risk allowance after some P311 million for the benefit was released, Health Sec. Francisco Duque III said Wednesday.

Duque told senators who are scrutinizing the Department of Health's expenses that the money would be coursed through hospitals. Health workers are entitled to a P5,000 special risk allowance per month.

"The president is very clear with his directive, we were given 10 days within which to disburse and pay the P311 million amount to health workers," he said.

The release of the allowance was delayed for some recipients after the law that authorizes its release lapsed last June 30, putting the DOH in a quandry as to where to source the money.

Senators also earlier told Duque that the allowance must be extended even to those who do not attend directly to COVID-19 patients. The DOH chief said he had written to the Commission on Audit to accomodate this request, which President Rodrigo Duterte supported.

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Sen. Francis Pangilinan earlier filed a measure institutionalizing the benefits for health workers directly treating patients affected by a disease causing a public health emergency.

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