DBM OK’s P8 billion for health aid, allowances

BW FILE PHOTO

By Beatriz Marie D. Cruz, Reporter

AT LEAST P8 billion in additional funds have been approved by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for the Department of Health’s (DoH) medical assistance for the poor and emergency benefits of health and non-healthcare workers.

In a press release on Tuesday, Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman said she approved the release of an additional Notice of Cash Allocation (NCA) to cover P2.439 billion for the Medical Assistance to Indigent and Financially-Incapacitated Patients (MAIP) and P5.566 billion for the Public Health Emergency Benefits and Allowances (PHEBA).

MAIP is a key program of the DoH, supporting the medical needs of the poor and financially incapacitated for in-patient, out-patient, comprehensive check-ups, and emergency services. It also covers other health-related spending like drugs, medicines, and professional fees.

Under the PHEBA program, healthcare workers receive key benefits, such as the Health Emergency Allowance (HEA) or One COVID-19 Allowance (OCA), Special Risk Allowance (SRA), COVID-19 Sickness and Death Compensation. It also covers other healthcare benefits like meals, accommodation, and transportation allowance.

WAGE HIKE STUDY OUT SOONMeanwhile, Ms. Pangandaman also committed to coming out with its study on the proposal to increase the salaries of government workers within the first half of 2024.

“We recognize that the rising cost of the basic commodities and services in the country highlights the need to review the current state of compensation of government employees,” she said in separate statement.

“The proposed compensation adjustment should consider not only the inflation rates and cost of living adjustments, but also standard market practices to ensure that working in government remains desirable and comparable to working in the private sector,” she added.