MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) is appealing for a P49 billion budget for the monthly allowance of all at-risk health workers — not just those dealing directly with COVID-19 patients — during this pandemic.
The funds will cover 526,727 health workers, Cebu 5th District Rep. Vince Franco Frasco said during the House debates on the proposed 2022 budget of the DOH.
Under the proposed scheme of the DOH, health workers are categorized as low-risk, medium-risk or high-risk.
Frasco said the monthly allowance will be given as follows:
- P9,000 for high-risk health workers — or those in direct contact with COVID-19 patients
- P6,000 for medium-risk workers
- P3,000 for low-risk workers
“This covers several hospitals, employees, health care workers, and several hospitals, health employees in LGUs, and health workers in private hospitals and even in military hospitals,” Frasco said.
Asked if the allowance would also cover other health workers such as janitors handling hospital wastes, Frasco said yes.
Citing DOH estimates, Frasco, said that 79,962 low-risk health workers, 47,173 medium-risk workers, and 399,592 high-risk workers — all of whom would receive the allowance.
The Alliance of Health Workers (AHW), however, rejected the DOH’s proposed allowance scheme.
“This scheme is indeed divisive and discriminating,” Robert Mendoza, AHW national president, said.
“The DOH’s proposal to categorize the risk exposure of the health workers in hospitals and health facilities is completely unacceptable because the virulent virus can infect anyone,” he added.