President Rodrigo Duterte approved the seven-point recommendation of his Cabinet on COVID-19 response, including giving more benefits to health care workers.
In a late-night address on Sunday, Duterte appealed to healthcare workers to “stretch” their patience and fervor by treating Covid-19 patients, assuring them that he recognizes their efforts.
“Don’t lose hope, I can see you and I speak to some of you. Stretch your patience and your fervor. We trust your abilities,” he added.
Chief Implementer of the government’s COVID-19 response Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. recommended that Duterte approve the sickness benefit to all health workers with COVID-19, regardless of their condition.
“There is some sort of psychological impact on our health workers,” Galvez explained. “We recommend that we give them at least P10,000. Almost 5,000 of them tested positive. They fear that they will be discriminated against when afflicted with the disease.”
Duterte agreed with the seven-point recommendation which includes hiring additional healthcare workers to augment the current workforce.
This will include the hiring of 10,000 medical professionals and the calling to active duty and enlistment to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Healthcare workers would also be provided with additional benefits, such as risk allowance for private sector healthcare workers treating Covid-19 patients, the amount of PHP10,000 to 15,000 for every healthcare worker that gets sick, life insurance, free accommodation, free transportation, free and frequent testing.
“So we are ready to consider this stipend or allowances or pay, give us time, we will make the report. I hope these will be included in the second Bayanihan Law… If these will be included, I will give it immediately,” Duterte added.