MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday assured it will issue within the day the joint administrative order on the release of benefits for health workers infected with novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In a press briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the Secretary of Health has already signed the joint administrative order and they are only awaiting the signature of both the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
The order will contain implementing rules on Section 4F of the Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, which states that a compensation of P100,000 will be provided to public and private health workers who may contract severe COVID-19 infection while in the line of duty; while those who die while fighting the COVID-19 pandemic will receive a compensation of P1 million.
The DOH earlier reported that 32 healthcare workers died due to COVID-19 while 79 were severely ill.
As of June 2, a total of 2,675 healthcare workers contracted COVID-19; 1,457 of them have recovered.
Vergeire said the release of the guidelines was delayed because they still had to source the funds for the beneficiaries.
She added that they also explored different possibilities, including tapping the Government Service Insurance System and the Social Security System, but found that doing so would result in a more difficult process.
“Alam naman natin na marami doon sa mga gastustin ngayon ay kinukuha lang natin sa realigned budget namin especially for those logistics na pangangailangan namin,” she said.
The health official said the DOH has allotted P100 million for the program which will come from the agency’s medical assistance funds.
“Kung saka-sakali na tayo ay maka-receive na ng documentary requirements na kailangan ng ating gobyerno para makapag- release tayo ng pera,” she said.
Vergeire said the DOH has already contacted the families of all 32 health workers who died of the disease for the requirements.
Malacañang on Thursday said that President Rodrigo Duterte has given concerned government agencies until June 9 to distribute the financial assistance to COVID-19-stricken health workers. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)
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