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DBM: Over P91B for emergency benefits, allowances of healthcare workers released

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to date has already released a total of P91.283 billion for the Public Health Emergency Benefits and Allowances (PHEBA) covering all healthcare workers’ benefits from 2021 to 2023.

The funds were released to the Department of Health (DOH), as the implementing agency, in the following years:

2021: P12.1 billion
2022: P28 billion
2023: P31.1 billion
2024: P19.962 billion

In a letter to the DOH, the DBM noted that it has already released a total of P91.283 billion for PHEBA, including some P73.26 billion for Health Emergency Allowance (HEA)/One COVID-19 Allowance (OCA), P12.90 billion for Special Risk Allowance (SRA), P3.65 billion for COVID-19 Sickness and Death Compensation, and P1.4 billion for other benefits, such as meal, accommodation, and transportation allowance.

Per the DOH report, out of the said amount, the agency was able to release a total of P76 billion.

In a meeting held earlier this year between the DBM and the DOH, it was agreed that there is a need for the DOH to urgently finalize the computation of the HEA claims in arrears to enable the DBM to determine if additional funding requirements are necessary despite the cumulatively released PHEBA allocations for our healthcare and non-healthcare workers.

DBM suggested that the DOH develop a HEA mapping that will capture and present all PHEBA claims and payments by Region/Health Facilities for the period covered by the benefit. The information gathered from the HEA mapping shall be used in expediting final determination of the amount of deficiency to cover the full settlement of arrears. The DBM likewise recommended that the said record be published in the DOH website for transparency to all claimants and stakeholders alike.

The DOH committed to submit the aforementioned HEA mapping with the final amount of computed PHEBA deficiencies not later than March this year, subject to the DBM’s validation based on submitted documents and the amounts reflected in the Health Emergency Allowance Processing System.