In Administrative Order No. 26, the President recognized that regular and contractual workers in government are exposed to health risks and hazards while working during the quarantine period, and authorized their hazard pay in the face of the coronavirus threat.
The grant of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) hazard pay will have a retroactive application starting March 17.
“National government agencies, including state universities and colleges, and government-owned and -controlled corporations, are authorized to grant COVID2019 hazard pay to personnel who physically report for work during the implantation of an enhanced community quarantine in their respective work stations in an amount not exceeding P500 per day person,” the order read.
Public health workers, social workers, uniformed personnel, and other government workers entitled to hazard pay and other similar benefits shall continue to be entitled to such benefits or the COVID-19 hazard pay whichever is higher
Under the AO, the heads of government agencies may grant the COVID-19 hazard pay without any approval from the Department of Budget and Management but with certain conditions.
The conditions include the personnel are occupying regular, contractual or casual positions or engaged through contract of service, job order or similar themes; personnel are authorized to physically report for work; and the rate of COVID-19 hazard pay will be based on the number of days the employee reports for work
The funds for the hazard pay will be sourced from the maintenance and other operating expenses of national government agencies and SUCs. Government corporations may charge the amount to their operating budget.
The order noted that the similar hazard pay may be granted to employees in the Senate, House of Representatives, Judiciary, Office of the Ombudsman, and other independent constitutional bodies
The hazard pay for employees in local government units will be determined by their respective Sanggunians depending on financial capability.
The President also “strongly encouraged” private hospitals and other health facilities to grant a similar benefit to their health workers and staff exposed to the perils of the coronavirus.
The order, signed by the President on March 23, will take effect immediately following its publication in the Official Gazette or newspaper.