Senate okays bill on benefits, allowances for HCW

January 31, 2022 Marlon Purification 144 views

THE Senate on Monday approved 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 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.”