The government is still granting hazard pay to health workers battling the coronavirus pandemic in recognition of their hard work and bravery.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque tried to allay concerns that the government has supposedly cut the benefit for the health frontliners during the public health emergency. According to Roque, President Duterte’s order on the additional benefit for these frontliners remained in effect.
“Hindi po nire-reduce ang hazard pay dahil ang hazard pay ay sang-ayon sa sang order ng ating Presidente (The hazard pay has not been reduced because hazard pay is based on an order issued by the President),” he said during a televised press briefing Tuesday, April 27.
“Pero naparating natin sa DOH (Department of Health) ang concerns at sabi ni Usec (Leopoldo) Vega tinitingnan ang ganitong report na binabawasan ang hazard pay (But we relayed the concerns to the DOH and Usec Vega said they’re looking into the report on the reduction on hazard pay),” he added.
In November 2020, the President issued Administrative Order No. 35 granting active hazard duty pay (AHDP) of up to P3,000 per month to frontline human resources for health (HRHs) in the public sector during the state of national emergency.
Under AO 35, frontline human resources for health such as medical, allied medical and other personnel in the public sector involved in the national health care response will be entitled to active hazard duty pay. The benefit will be in addition to any similar benefits under existing laws and will also be exempt from income tax.
“HRHs, whose services are essential in our fight against COVID-19, and who physically report to the frontlines in the fulfillment of their duties, are inevitable exposed to health risks and hazards,” the order read.
In a separate Palace order, private and public health workers in contact with coronavirus patients are entitled to a monthly COVID-19 special risk allowance of up to P5,000.
AO No. 36 issued by the President allowed allowed government agencies and local government units to grant the additional allowance to these health frontliners. The benefit will also be exempt from income tax.