Duterte: Gov’t delivering benefit checks to families of healthcare workers dead of COVID-19

Published June 8, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Genalyn Kabiling 

The government has started to deliver the compensation benefits to the families of the healthcare workers who died of the new coronavirus disease as provided by the Bayanihan law.

In his latest weekly report to Congress, President Duterte said the Department of Health (DOH) has delivered 18 out of 32 death benefit checks to the beneficiaries of health workers who died from COVID-19 as of June 5.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte updates the nation on the government's efforts in addressing the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on May 28, 2020. (ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO/MANILA BULLETIN)

Of the 14 remaining checks, Duterte said seven have been issued and are for delivery to the beneficiaries while seven are completing requirements.

Under Republic Act (RA) No. 11469 or the “Bayanihan to Heal As One Act,” the government must give P1 million to the families of health workers who died from the viral illness. At least 100,000 in sickness benefit must be granted to health workers with severe coronavirus infection.

According to the President, the guidelines on the grant of compensation for COVID-infected private and public health workers have already been issued by the DOH, Department of Labor and Employment, and Department of Budget and Management.

The President earlier gave the health department until June 9 to release the funds for the death and sickness benefits to the healthcare workers. Duterte has expressed his disappointment over the delay in the compensation given to the health workers, prompting him to appoint a hospital chief from Mindanao as new health undersecretary for special concerns.

Several senators earlier called out the government for the alleged failure to compensate health workers under Bayanihan law almost three months since it was signed into law.

COVID-19 special risk allowance

In the same report to Congress, the President said P142.3 million in COVID-19 special risk allowances has already been released to the 15,757 public health workers deployed to support the containment efforts of the DOH.

He said there were additional releases made to cover the requirements for the COVID-19 special risk allowance for public health workers since agencies were authorized to charge it against their personnel services or maintenance allotments.

The Bayanihan law, signed by the President last March, stated that all public health workers must be provided with a COVID-19 special risk allowance in addition to the hazard pay granted under the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers or RA 7305.