A measure granting mandatory and continuing benefits to both public and private health workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and in future public health emergencies was approved at the House committee level.
The substitute bill which covers the barangay health workers, will be submitted in the plenary for the entire House consideration.
Members of the House Committee on Appropriations said health workers deserve to be given such benefits because the job is risky and tedious.
Under the proposed Public Health Emergency Benefits for Health Workers Act, a Special risk allowance (SRA) must be granted for all health workers for every month of service during the state of public health emergency based on their risk exposure categories.
Those deployed in “low risk areas” must be given at least P3,000 per month; at least P6,000 per month for those in “medium risk areas;” and at least P9,000 per month for those in “high risk areas.”
Likewise, the measure provides Active Hazard Duty Pay worth P5,000 for every month served by the health workers, on top of the existing benefits that the health workers receive.
The bill provides life insurance, accommodation, transportation, and meals allowance for health workers regardless of the community quarantine status.
The compensation for covered health workers who have contracted COVID-19 and such other disease or illness in the line of duty during a state of public health emergency: P100,000 for their heirs in case of death; P100,000 for the hospitalization in case of sickness and critical case; P15,000 for mild and moderate case; and full PhilHealth coverage for health workers who are admitted to a hospital with confirmed COVID-19 infection, and such other disease or illness during a public health emergency.
The funding for the initial implementation of the measure will be charged against the current year’s appropriations for the Department of Health.
Among the authors of the bill are Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas; Paranaque Rep. Joy Myra Tambunting; and Bayan MUna Rep. Isagani Zarate.