The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has approved PHP7.92 billion to the Department of Health (DOH) for the One COVID-19 Allowance (OCA) of 526,727 eligible public and private healthcare workers (HCWs) and non-HCWs participating in the COVID-19 response.
Of this amount, PHP4.50 billion has been allocated to 100,313 DOH plantilla staff in public hospitals, offices, and rehabilitation facilities, including those in military and state university hospitals.
The remaining PHP3.42 billion will be used to pay for other 426,414 health professionals who work in local government entities and private health facilities, among other things.
Each HCW and non-HCW will get Covid-19 benefits based on their level of Covid-19 exposure as stipulated by DOH Administrative Order No. 2022-0001 under the OCA.
Health professionals who are considered to be at high risk will get PHP9,000 per month, while those who are determined to be at moderate or low risk will receive PHP6,000 and PHP3,000 per month, respectively.
If the health professional physically reports to work for at least 96 hours per month, the benefit will be paid in full; otherwise, the payment will be prorated.
“The DBM will continue to ensure the timely and prudent approval of the budget releases to ensure the welfare of the front-liners as the country bounces back from the impacts of the health crisis,” the agency said.
On the other hand, the Alliance of Health Workers had previously criticized the OCA program as “racist” and “divisive.”
It further claimed that the benefits are insufficient, and that frontline workers should continue to receive the special risk allowance and active hazard duty pay.