Duterte OKs active hazard pay, special risk allowance to pandemic frontliners
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the grant of active hazard duty pay (AHDP) and special risk allowance (SRA) to COVID-19 medical frontliners.
In his Administrative Order (AO) No. 35 signed and issued Monday, Duterte ordered the government to grant active hazard duty pay of up to P3,000 per month to all human resources for health such as medical, allied medical staff and other personnel in the public sector serving in the frontlines during the coronavirus pandemic.
The grant will be exempted from income tax and will come in addition to any other similar benefits under existing law, issuances, and rules and regulations.
In another AO, Duterte approved the grant of a special risk allowance (SRA) not exceeding P5,000 per month to public and private health workers directly catering to or in contact with COVID-19 patients.
Like the AHDP, the COVID-19 SRA will be exempted from income tax and will come in addition to other similar benefits.
The grants should be pro-rated based on the number of days that the health worker physically report for work in a month, reckoned from September 15 until December 19.
In issuing the special risk allowance, Duterte cited the “need to recognize the heroic and invaluable contributions of our public health workers throughout the country, who bravely and unselfishly risk their lives and health by being at the forefront of the national effort to address the public health emergency.”
The Department of Health and the Department of Budget and Management are ordered to craft the guidelines to ensure the proper implementation of the orders.
Senators earlier questioned Malacañang for the delay in the SRA for healthcare workers provided under the Bayanihan to Recover as One-Act.
The issue on the distribution of the SRA for health workers has been a persistent issue and a recurring complaint of healthcare professionals amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has already sickened over 409,000 people nationwide.
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