Solon files bill seeking more benefits, incentives for medical frontliners
MANILA, Philippines — A bill seeking to provide additional benefits for frontline health workers as the country continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic has been filed in the House of Representatives.
Iloilo 1st District Rep. Janette Garin, who filed House Bill No. 6955 on Thursday, said that medical frontliners “are facing an enormous and unprecedented workload in this COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Like our soldiers, our medical frontliners are vulnerable to mental and emotional stress. The possibility of having their immediate family members contract COVID-19 will always be there. But the call of duty is greater and they chord to heed to that call,” Garin said in the bill’s explanatory note.
Under the bill, several additional benefits and incentives shall be provided to medical frontliners such as the provision of a one-time allowance of P5,000 at the start of a pandemic or public health emergency.
They are also entitled to free mandatory Continuing Medical Education (CME) Program equivalent to two Continuing Professional Development (CPD) unites for them to enhance the competencies of frontline workers in times of pandemic and health emergency.
Further, medical frontliners shall also be entitled to free influenza and pneumococcal vaccination and other vaccines, as well as free annual influenza vaccination for their qualified dependents.
Frontline health workers shall be entitled to a yearly mental health leave of five days with pay.
Those covered by the bill include both public and private frontline health workers.
“For the purpose of this Act, frontline health workers shall mean all persons who are engaged in health, and health-related work in health facilities, regardless of employment status, whether salaried, contracted, or volunteers,” the bill states.
“This shall include all persons employed in all hospitals, sanitary, health infirmaries, health centers, rural health units, barangay health stations, clinics, duly-registered nursing homes, and other health-related establishments,” the bill adds.
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