593 health volunteers sign up to fight COVID-19, says DOH
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday said 593 health workers have volunteered to help hospitals in treating COVID-19 patients for one month.
“As of 6 p.m. we now have 593 who have signed up to help in our fight against COVID-19,” Health Undersecretary Dr. Rosette Vergeire said in mixed Filipino and English during a press briefing.
The health department started looking for licensed doctors and nurses who will volunteer to help in hospitals. They are said to be compensated with P500 daily for an eight-hour shift.
The health department also apologized for the impression of giving P500 daily allowance to the health warriors.
“This is not far from reality. I am also a doctor and our department knows how important it is to be a health worker especially during these times,” Vergeire said in Filipino.
Vergeire said the P500 is part of their protocol and that the department based the amount from the compensation given to other volunteers who helped in response to other outbreaks in the past.
Most of their budget are allocated for the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPEs), the health official said.
She also said they are still evaluating the allocation of the supplemental budget approved by Congress to the DOH.
“Now that the Congress has given us supplemental budget, we will allocate these funds to important areas such as compensation for health workers, PPEs, COVID-19 response from Philhealth and improvement of health facilities,” she added.
Edited by JPV
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