Senators question ‘delay’ in release of COVID-19 risk allowance to healthcare workers
MANILA, Philippines — Senators questioned the “delay” in the special risk allowance (SRA) for healthcare workers provided under the Bayanihan to Recover as One-Act.
“What is the cause of this delay?” senators said in their compiled comments and questions on President Rodrigo Duterte’s first monthly report to Congress on the implementation of the Bayanihan 2 law.
“The problem with the distribution of the Special Risk Allowance (SRA) for health workers has been a persistent issue and a recurring complaint of healthcare professionals,” they added.
The President’s monthly report showed that the Department of Health has only “just recently submitted” to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) the cost estimates for the granting of SRA and hazard pay of private and public healthcare workers,” according to the senators.
They also sought a separate report on implementing the provision that grants compensation to healthcare workers who contract or have died of COVID-19 in the line of duty.
This report includes the list of medical workers who received and who have yet to receive such benefits to “ensure that the same issue in the delay of receipt of benefits” will not happen again.
Under the Bayanihan 2 law, the President is authorized to grant P15,000 in cash aid to healthcare workers who contract a mild infection of COVID-19 in the line of duty.
The law further mandates that healthcare workers who become severely-ill from COVID-19 in the line of duty receive P100,000. At the same time, cash assistance of P1 million should be granted to the family of medical workers who succumb to the disease.
Public and private health workers catering to coronavirus patients are also entitled to a COVID-19 special risk allowance.
On Friday, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country reached 365,799. Of the number, 312,691 have recovered while 6,915 have died. [ac]
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