Palace: Duterte may set deadline to expedite aid to virus-hit health workers
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte may impose a deadline to concerned government agencies to speed up the release of the compensation intended for the over 30 health workers who died or became severely ill from COVID-19, Malacañang said Wednesday.
Earlier, senators expressed dismay after learning that none of the more than 30 healthcare workers who contracted severe COVID-19 infection in the line of duty has received compensation provided under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
Under the said law, all health workers who acquired severe coronavirus infection in the line of duty are entitled to P100,000 while compensation of P1 million should be given to the families of those who died while serving in the country’s fight against the pandemic.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the Palace agreed with the sentiments of the senators, adding that Duterte may take a similar action when he addresses the issues on repatriated Filipino migrant workers who were stranded in quarantine facilities.
“So, tomorrow when I meet with the President I expect him to give the responsible parties again a deadline when to give the benefits to those who have gotten sick, which under the Bayanihan Law, is a hundred thousand and to the heirs of those who have died, which is one million,” Roque said in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel.
“So, I expect that in my conversation with the President he will give a new deadline for those responsible in implementing the death benefits and other benefits due our frontliners,” he reiterated.
To recall, Duterte gave the Department of Labor and Employment and other concerned government agencies a week to send home at least 24,000 repatriates supposedly stranded in quarantine facilities across Metro Manila.
To date, a total of 2,669 health workers nationwide have contracted the severe respiratory disease. Of the number, 32 have died.
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