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Rep. Reyes grateful for DBM approval of extra P1.04 Billion for backpay of COVID-19 Frontliners
“With gratitude, we welcome the decision of the Department of Budget and Management in allotting additional funds for our frontliners. We hope that more unused available funds are found and sourced to fill in the 73-billion-peso total of overdue allowances our workers deserve to receive.”
This ANAKALUSUGAN Party-list Representative Ray Florence Reyes stated as DBM released 1.04 billion pesos of Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) to the Department of Health (DOH) for the special risk allowances (SRA) of over 52,000 health workers involved in the COVID-19 health care response.
“A lot more is needed, but our call is beginning to bear fruit. Until the healthcare system is given due attention, we will neither stand idly by nor keep mum. We will continue the legislative push to increase the allocation of our health sector for concerned departments to act. Hopefully, this decision will be extended and be translated to better funding in the General Appropriations Act of 2023,” Rep. Reyes said.
In early September, Rep. Reyes called on fellow lawmakers for the return of 76 billion pesos worth of arrears for health care workers that DBM slashed from DOH’s budget. Only 19 billion pesos was reflected in the National Expenditure Program for Fiscal Year 2023, which the health department stated will only last for three months of backwages.
From December 2020 to June 2021, DBM released a total of 11.856 billion pesos in funding for the SRA of health workers.