Janette Garin

Garin hails PBBM for supporting HCWs

February 6, 2023 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 233 views

Marcos vows to protect ‘modern-day heroes’

HOUSE Deputy Majority Leader Janette Garin of Iloilo on Monday commended President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. (PBBM) for advocating the interest and welfare of healthcare workers (HCWs) and fulfilling his promise to support “modern-day heroes.”

This is after Marcos said that healthcare workers will continue to receive allowances despite the expiration of the state of calamity declared in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Garin, a former Health Secretary and who has been advocating for a stronger healthcare system in the country, said that given the vast tasks of HCWs, they are “deserving” of such benefits even without a pandemic.

“We don’t need a state of calamity to be able to give HCWs allowances. We recognize the immense sacrifice and selflessness that our health workers continue to pour out throughout these trying times,” Garin said.

The state of calamity across the country was first implemented in March 2020 and has been extended twice. Marcos, on the other hand, extended the COVID-19 state of calamity from September until Dec. 31, 2022.

The Department of Health (DOH) has sought an extension because HCWs will continue to receive their COVID-19 benefits and allowances as long as the state of a national public health emergency is in place.

However, Marcos no longer sees the need to impose an extension since COVID-19 admissions have already decreased.

As to the benefits, the President has assured that the allowances would not be affected and that health workers will continuously receive their additional compensation.

The COVID health risk allowance is given based on the following categories: P3,000 for those deployed in “low risk” areas; P6,000 for “medium risk” areas; and P9,000 for “high risk” areas.

As of December 2022, at least 1.6 million healthcare workers have benefited from the health risk allowance.