Private health workers will receive P10,000 Covid-19 special risk allowance as approved by congressional bicameral conference committee in the proposed Bayanihan to Recover As One Act (Bayanihan 2).
Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said that inclusion of the said provision in the bicam version is a recognition of the equal efforts being exerted by health care workers (HCWs) in private hospitals.
Under the Bayanihan 2 bill, a total of PHP10.5 billion shall be allocated in various compensations for medical front-liners, including a special risk allowance not just for public HCWs but also for private HCWs who are treating Covid-19 patients.
“In any crisis, the government is forced to prioritize with limited resources; you will have to ask the private sectors to, as much as they can, manage it on their own so the most disadvantaged ones can be accommodated. But at this point in this pandemic, there is hardly that distinction,” Cayetano said.
Aside from the tax-free special allowance, free life insurance, accommodation, transportation, and meals shall be provided for all public and private medical front-liners for the duration of the pandemic.
“No amount of money could repay the blood, sweat, and tears shed by our health workers, but taking care of those extra things for them can go a long way. And it will allow them to focus more on taking care of our kababayans,” Cayetano said.
Under the adopted provision, compensation shall be granted to public and private HCWs who contracted Covid-19 with mild symptoms and those who have died of the disease.
For public and private HCWs who have contracted severe Covid-19 infection while in the line of duty from Feb. 1, 2020 onwards, the bicameral committee adopted the provision of PHP100,000 in compensation from the House and Senate versions of Bayanihan 2.
“Basically we are targeting two things: first, to come up with short-term solutions so we can effectively manage the pandemic, and second, to design measures in response to the crisis in a way that will bring long-term positive effects to our economy moving forward,” Cayetano said.
Deputy Speaker Luis Ray Villafuerte said the bicameral conference committee has already approved the Bayanihan 2 bill. (via PNA)