The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on Friday announced that it released an additional P1.185 billion for the special risk allowance (SRA) of health workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A total of P11.856 billion has been released to date, the DBM said.

The SRA benefitted 562,928 healthcare workers, who were entitled to receive allowances not exceeding P5,000 per month from Dec. 20, 2020 to June 30, 2021.

The SRA is an additional benefit received by healthcare workers, apart from the existing compensations as prescribed under the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers and Joint Circular No. 1 of the Department of Health and DBM.

The disbursement of allowance and benefits of health workers in the Philippines amid the Covid-19 pandemic has been erratic.

Medical workers have resorted to protests to voice out their complaints about the government’s late release of funds. Some have also complained about the computation of their SRA.

Earlier this month, President Rodrigo Duterte vowed to increase the SRA given to volunteer health workers, saying the current P5,000 rate was “too small.” John Ezekiel J. Hirro