House panel OKs continuing Covid-19 benefits to health workers

House panel OKs continuing Covid-19 benefits to health workers

MANILA – The House Committee on Health on Tuesday approved in principle several measures that would continue the provision of allowances and benefits to all public and private health workers during the state of public health emergency due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

The panel, chaired by Quezon Rep. Angelina Tan, approved House Bills 9640, 10198, 10285, 10331, and 10365 subject to consolidation and amendments.

The benefits include monthly special risk allowance for all public and private health workers directly catering to or in contact with Covid-19 patients; actual hazard duty pay for all health workers serving in the frontline; and life insurance, accommodation, transportation and meals to all health workers.

Also, health workers who contract mild or moderate Covid-19 will be given PHP15,000 each; PHP100,000 for severe or critical cases; and in case of death, the amount of PHP1 million to the heirs.

The various measures on the proposed Covid-19 Benefits for Health Workers Act mandate that these benefits should remain available so long as the presidential declaration of national public health emergency is in place.

Tan said additional benefits that will cover psychiatric treatment for affected health workers will also be included in the proposal.

Tan noted that Republic Act 11494, otherwise known as the “Bayanihan to Recover as One Act” or Bayanihan 2, which mandates the provision of Covid-19 benefits to health workers, lapsed on June 30 this year.

“The WHO has in fact called on the public to ensure that our health and care workforces are supported, protected, motivated and equipped to deliver safe health care at all times, not only during Covid-19 because they are as much needed to accelerate the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals and Covid-19 recovery,” she said. (PNA)

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