From the Manila Bulletin: Senator Panfilo M. Lacson said Tuesday all public health workers (HWs) will receive a Special Risk Allowance on top of their regular hazard pay under Republic Act 7305, the Magna Carta of Health Workers.
Health workers to get added hazard pay – Lacson
Updated March 24, 2020, 7:32 PM
By Mario Casayuran
Senator Panfilo M. Lacson said Tuesday all public health workers (HWs) will receive a Special Risk Allowance on top of their regular hazard pay under Republic Act 7305, the Magna Carta of Health Workers.
“On top of this, there is a P1 million financial aid to public and private HWs in case of death (retroactive) and; P100,000 medical assistance to all HWs who may get infected,’’ Lacson said in a Twitter post after the Senate approved the Bayanihan Act of 2020 in a special session early this morning (Tuesday).
Lacson, chairman of the Senate national defense and security committee, also said all phrases pertaining to the exercise of discretion by the President, being a mere delegate of Congress in its exercise of emergency powers, were removed in the final version of the bill as approved on final reading.
“I know because I proposed those amendments,’’ Lacson said.
“I proposed to provide life insurance to our health workers, and also PhilHealth to pay for all the medical needs of the health workers. So that’s contained in my proposed amendment which I have already submitted to the sponsor. I think that would take care of the concerns of Senator Grace Poe,’’ Lacson said of his debate at the Senate session brought to the public through teleconferencing.
Lacson said the Department of Health (DOH) has only P378 M for the hazard pay of health workers.
“Because it may be against the law to give hazard pay twice over. So I agree that we should use a different nomenclature and in this case, it is a Special Risk Allowance. And P378 million (of the DOH) I think would not be enough to cover all the health workers we have in the frontlines,’’ he added.
Senator Richard J. Gordon expressed his satisfaction at the Senate’s approval of his proposal to give P1 million to each public and private health worker who dies while performing their duties.
“Finally! The Senate has adopted our amendments! Senator Lacson proposed to provide life insurance and PhilHealth for health workers,’’ he said.
Gordon said the Philippines will overcome this dreaded disease just like what some countries have done.
“To the Filipino people, yes, we can and yes, we will. Fight we must, win we must,’’ he added.
If signed into law by the President, the Bayanihan bill would also grant 18 million low-income households in the country an emergency cash assistance worth P5,000 to P8,000, depending on the prevailing minimum wage in the region.