THE Senate approved on Monday a measure seeking to grant COVID-19 benefits and allowances to public and private health workers during the state of national public health emergency amid the pandemic.
Voting 23-0-0, the Senate approved on third and final reading Senate Bill No. 2421 or the proposed COVID-19 Benefits and Allowances For Health Workers Act of 2022.
The measure covers all public and private health workers, regardless of employment status during the state of a public health emergency.
Based on the bill, the compensation for COVID-19 related sickness and death provided also covers “non-medical workers and outsourced personnel hired under an institutional or individual contract of service or job order basis assigned in health facilities involved in the COVID-19 response.”
Under the bill, COVID-19 Risk Allowance will be given for every month served. The amount would depend on the “risk exposure categorization.”
For those deployed in “low-risk areas,” P3,000 allowance will be given, P6,000 for workers deployed in “medium risk areas” and P9,000 for those in “high-risk areas.”
The COVID-19 Risk Allowance shall be given on top of the benefits provided under the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers and “other forms of hazard pay as a result of collective bargaining agreements with private employers.”
Meanwhile, the measure also provides for compensation in case of sickness or death due to COVID-19 in the line of duty.
If enacted, the measure will have a retroactive application from July 1, 2021, and “shall remain in full force and effect during the state of national public health emergency as declared by the President.”