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‘No cut in hazard pay of frontliners’

There is no cut in the hazard pay of frontline healthcare workers and the national government is looking into such allegations, Malacañang said yesterday.

Presidential spokesperson, Harry Roque, made this assurance to allay concerns that the government has supposedly cut the benefit of health frontliners during the public health emergency.

“The hazard pay has not been reduced because hazard pay is based on an order issued by the President,” he said in a press briefing from Cebu City.

Roque said he has also relayed the matter to Department of Health Undersecretary Leopoldo “Bong” Vega.

“We relayed the concerns to the DOH and Usec Vega said they’re looking into the report on the reduction on hazard pay,” he added.

In November last year, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Administrative Order No. 35, authorizing the grant of active hazard duty pay of up to P3,000 per month to human resources for health.

Frontline HRHs refer to medical, allied medical, and other personnel in the public sector, who are involved in the national healthcare response to mitigate the transmission of Covid-19 and prevent further loss of lives.

“National government agencies, government-owned or -controlled corporations and local government units are hereby authorized to grant AHDP up to P3,000 per month to frontline HRHs which shall be in addition to any hazard pay, hazardous duty pay, hazard allowance, special risk allowance, or other similar benefits under existing laws, issuances, rules, and regulations, and shall be exempt from income tax,” AO 35 read.

Duterte also signed AO 36 authorizing the grant of a Covid-19 special risk allowance of up to P5,000 per month to private and public health workers directly in contact with Covid-19 patients.

The Covid-19 SRA will be in addition to any hazard pay, hazardous duty pay, hazard allowance, or other similar benefits under existing laws, issuances, rules and regulations, and shall be exempt from income tax.

He signed the AOs in recognition of the “heroic and invaluable” contributions of public HWs, who bravely risk their lives and health by being at the forefront of the national effort to address the ongoing health crisis.*PNA

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