The Department of Budget and Management yesterday denied that the Magna Carta benefits for public health workers has been slashed, and said that the P348.1 million allotment in the 2012 General Appropriations Act has already been released to the Department of Health.
In a press statement, Secretary Florencio Abad of DBM said the appropriation covers a monthly laundry allowance of P125 and a subsistence pay of P30 per day for public health workers under the DOH.
But as DOH authorized the increase of the laundry and subsistence allowances to P150/month and P50/day, respectively, the difference should be sourced from agency savings, properly established at the end of the fiscal year, the DBM added in its press release.
Section 41 of the GAA states that the payment of Magna Carta benefits of public health workers in the government shall be limited to the appropriations authorized in this Act for the purpose. Augmentation from any available savings of the agency shall be subject to the approval of the DBM, the press release said.
Abad said that, because the DOH authorized the augmentation of benefits, the agency must use its savings to account for the difference between the appropriated rates and the DOH-augmented rates.
He noted that, in the past, benefits due the public health workers were prone to abuse, with augmented benefits released to employees in the first quarter of the year, long before the DOH could correctly establish agency savings at the end of the year, the press release said.
DBM is reevaluating funding and disbursement guidelines for Magna Carta benefits, that have frequently been constrained by scarce government resources, inefficiencies in targeting beneficiaries, and lack of revenue measures designed to go with the benefits, the press release added.*
back to top