DOH almost done releasing benefits to healthcare workers ill or dead of COVID-19

By Analou De Vera

The Department of Health (DOH) expressed hope that it would be able to distribute the mandated compensation to the families of all the healthcare workers who died or got severely ill due to coronavirus disease-- within Tuesday, June 9.

Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN) Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire

“Hopefully by the end of the day, maibigay natin lahat sa mga dapat bigyan ,” said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire in a press briefing.

As of this writing, the DOH has already given the P1 million death benefit each to 26 out of 32 families of fallen healthcare workers. Meanwhile, ten out of 24 healthcare workers who became severely ill have already received their P100,000 benefit.

President Duterte gave the DOH until Tuesday, June 9 to hand out the benefits to affected healthcare workers. The monetary assistance is mandated under Republic Act No. 11469 or the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.”

“Binigyan kami hanggang end of the business day today para makumpleto yan at talagang pinag-iibayuhan namin iyan ,” said Vergeire.

“Pag hindi talaga natapos, ito ay sa kadahilanan na merong unforeseen circumstances talaga ,” she added.

Vergeire cited that there are some heirs that still need to secure a special power of attorney to claim the benefit. She also added that they are also validating the death certificates of some beneficiaries as it was stated there that they did not succumb to COVID-19.

“Clear sa law dapat namatay sa COVID. So, (sa) dalawang (beneficiaries)--sabi sa death certificates not direct sinasabi na dahil sa COVID-19. Lilinawin natin ito para hindi magkaroon ng technical issues ,” she said.

Vergeire also added that they are also verifying the medical abstract of those healthcare workers listed as severely ill.

These “unforeseen circumstances” are hampering them from completing the distribution of benefits, said Vergeire.

“Tayo naman pag binigyan ng ganyang instructions, gagawin natin iyan. Although meron nga tayong mga unforeseen circumstances na hindi natin naman kontrolado. Pinipilit natin ibigay lahat sa araw na ito ,” she said.