"Let us take good care of our healthcare workers. If we lose them, then the country's response to this pandemic will truly collapse. Talo ang lahat." - Sen. Sonny Angara
Senator Sonny Angara said today the benefits granted to frontline health workers under the Bayanihan to Recover as One (Bayanihan 2) will remain even after the law expires on June 30 this year.
Angara, who shepherded Bayanihan 2 as the chairman of the Committee on Finance, said the law is clear that the benefits to frontline health workers, including the compensation for those who contract COVID-19 while in the line of duty, will continue to be granted for as long as the state of national emergency as declared by the President remains.
Under Bayanihan 2, health workers who fall ill due to COVID-19 while in the line of duty will each receive compensation amounting to P15,000 for mild/moderate cases and P100,000 for severe/critical cases. In case of death, the family of the health worker will receive P1 million.
“This provision has been present since Bayanihan 1 and should continue for as long as we are facing the COVID-19 pandemic because our frontline health workers are risking their lives daily to care for those who have been infected since day one,” Angara said.
“The intent of Congress is clear for the compensation to continue even after the expiration of Bayanihan 2 on June 30, 2021. This was agreed upon by both the Senate and the House of Representatives during our bicam meetings on the measure,” Angara added.
Apart from compensation, Angara noted that other benefits for health workers under Bayanihan 2 will also remain as long as the state of national emergency remains in the country.
These are as follows:
(a) Monthly special risk allowance for all public and private health workers directly catering to or in contact with COVID-19 patients
(b) Actual hazard duty pay for all health workers serving in the front line
(c) Assumption of all medical expenses of public and private health workers in case of exposure to COVID-19 or any work-related injury or disease
(d) Life insurance, accommodation, transportation and meals to all public and private health workers.
As of March 15, 2021, the Department of Health (DOH) reported that 7,963 health workers who contracted COVID-19 have been compensated.
“It is clear that our health workers should continue to receive these benefits for as long as we are facing the COVID-19 pandemic. We urge the DOH and the other implementing agencies to continue facilitating the release of the funds intended for our brave health frontliners,” Angara said.