The Department of Health (DOH) announced its commitment to complete the distribution of health emergency allowances (HEAs) for healthcare workers who served during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic this year.

During a press briefing, DOH spokesperson Undersecretary Enrique Tayag said that a total of P46.4 billion in HEAs has already been disbursed by the DOH, leaving P15.2 billion to be allocated.

'Umabot na sa P46.4 billion ang naipamahagi na ng Kagawaran ng Kalusugan at masaya kami at natanggap ito ng ating mga health workers na dapat tumanggap ng health emergency allowance (We have already distributed P46.4 billion through the Department of Health, and we are pleased that our healthcare workers, who deserve these health emergency allowances, have received them),' Tayag said.

To access claims, Tayag said that hospitals need to fulfill the necessary documentation requirements. He also mentioned that Health Secretary Ted Herbosa had discussions with private hospital unions to clarify the situation.

According to Tayag, several private hospitals have already received at least 5 months' worth of HEAs. The health department is currently prioritizing addressing arrears from the past two years.

'Sapagkat wala na pong public health emergency, kung kailan po 'yun inalis ay hanggang doon na lamang ang HEA. So 'yun po ay makakasama sa ibibigay pa ng Kagawaran ng Kalusugan at tinataya, ayon sa aming mga kasama sa Kagawaran ng Kalusugan, ay bago magtapos ang taon ay kumpleto nang naibigay ito,' he added.

(As the public health emergency status has been lifted, the HEAs will be provided only up until that point. This additional support will be included in the allocation from the Department of Health, and we anticipate that all outstanding allowances will be distributed by the end of the year).

Tayag said that the health department is continously coordinating with the Department of Budget and Management to ensure a streamlined process.

Back in June, Herbosa assured health workers that they would receive their long-awaited COVID-19 allowances.

In July, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. issued Proclamation 29, effectively lifting the state of public health emergency throughout the Philippines and nullifying various orders, memoranda and other measures put in place in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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