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COVID-19 compensation in 2024

The administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. is committed to sustaining financial support for the nation's healthcare as well as non-healthcare professionals with the proposed allocation of P19.962 billion for their benefits and allowances next year while over P64 billion has been released to settle compensation claims since 2021.

The allotted budget is earmarked for the Public Health Emergency Benefits and Allowances for Healthcare and Non-Healthcare workers in the FY 2024 National Expenditure Program (NEP) to pay the COVID-19 allowance and compensation of eligible healthcare and non-healthcare workers, including arrears from 01 July 2021.

"A total of P20 billion will be provided for the health emergency allowance and COVID-19 compensation package for eligible healthcare and non-healthcare workers," the President stated in his 2024 Budget Message.

Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman said the appropriated budget ensures that the country’s healthcare and non-healthcare workers will continue to receive due compensation despite the recent lifting of the state of public health emergency throughout the country due to COVID-19 through Proclamation No. 297.

“As directed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., we shall sustain our efforts in strengthening government healthcare services. And this involves providing our healthcare workers— our heroes— with needed and continued support, including their allowances and compensation,” Secretary Pangandaman said.

Under the FY 2023 General Appropriations Act (GAA), the amount of P19.962 billion has been allotted for the same purpose, including payment of arrears reckoning FY 2020, during COVID-19 or other public health emergencies of national scale that may be declared in the future under Republic Act (RA) No. 11712, RA No. 11469, and RA No. 11494. This amount was already part of the FY 2023 Comprehensively Released Items of the Department of Health (DOH) per National Budget Circular No. 590.

On October 13, 2023, the DBM released an additional amount of P4 billion to DOH, chargeable against Unprogrammed Appropriations for the same purpose. Said release is limited to the available amount certified by the Bureau of the Treasury.

According to the latest Financial Accountability Report submitted by the DOH, P20.983 billion has already been obligated as of 31 October 2023, leaving an available balance of P3.318 billion.

Meanwhile, since 2021, the DBM has released a total of P64.169 billion to cover the payment of COVID-19 allowances and compensation of eligible healthcare and non-healthcare workers. The said amount covers an estimated total of 4,359,140 health emergency allowances and compensation claims.