PRESIDENT Rodrigo Roa Duterte has signed into law a bill mandating the unhampered benefits of healthcare workers during coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic and other possible public health emergencies in the future.
Under Republic Act (RA) No. 11712 or the “Public Health Emergency Benefits and Allowances for Healthcare Workers Act,” it grants benefits to all healthcare and non-healthcare workers regardless of their employment status during COVID-19 pandemic and other national public health emergencies.
Quezon 4th District Rep. Angelina “Helen” Tan, chairperson of the House Committee on Health and one of the principal authors of the new law, thanked President Duterte for signing the bill into law.
“Lubos ang aking katuwaan na matapos ang mahabang usapin at sa harap ng maraming hinaing ng ating mga health care workers ay mabibigyan na sila ng patuloy na mga benepisyo sa panahon ng COVID-19 at iba pang mga pandemya na maaaring maganap. Nagpapasalamat ako sa Pangulong Duterte sa kanyang pagtataguyod sa ating mga workers sa health sector. Ito ay mahalagang regalo sa ating mga manggagawang pangkalusugan lalo na sa paggunita ng Labor Day sa bansa,” Tan said.
Under the law, healthcare and non-health care workers are assured of receiving a monthly health emergency allowance from the service rendered during the COVID-19 pandemic depending on risk exposure categorization: P3,000 for workers in low-risk areas; P6,000 for workers in “medium risk areas; and P9,000 for workers assigned in “high-risk areas.
Aside from this, P1 million will be given to the family of those who will die from COVID-19; P100,000 to those who will experience severe or critical cases; and P15,000 to those who have mild to moderate cases.
The law will also provide full PhilHealth coverage to all healthcare and non-healthcare workers.
The benefits are retroactive from July 1, 2021 and will remain until the duration of the national public health emergency declared by the Philippine president.