‘Fast-track release of hazard pay’

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            Malacañang yesterday urged the Department of Health to fast-track the release of hazard pay for healthcare workers in the frontlines in the fight against coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

            Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this remark after the DOH said that some 16,000 healthcare workers have yet to receive the hazard pay appropriated for them under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, which expired in June.

            “Our appeal is, authorities in charge of releasing this payment, I hope you hasten the process,” he said in a Palace press briefing.

            Roque recalled how Duterte, last June, was enraged by health authorities’ failure to provide compensation to healthcare workers who became severely ill or died of Covid-19.

            Under Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act (Bayanihan 1), public and private healthcare workers who become severely ill of Covid-19 in the line of duty are entitled to PHP100,000, while the families of those who died of the illness could get PHP1 million.

            “When the compensation given to front-liners who died or became ill was delayed, the President was very angry. Let’s avoid getting the President angry, please release it immediately,” he added.

            Last March, Duterte issued Administrative Order No. 26 granting a Covid-19 hazard pay at the rate of P500 per day to government workers who physically report for work.

            AO No. 26 funds were sourced from the already-lapsed Bayanihan 1.

            More than two months after he signed Republic Act 11494 or the Bayanihan to Recover As One Act (Bayanihan 2), Duterte on Monday signed AO No. 35 authorizing the grant of active hazard duty pay to health front-liners.

            Duterte also signed AO No. 36 authorizing the grant of monthly P5,000 Covid-19 special risk allowance to private and public health workers directly in contact with Covid-19 patients.*PNA

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