President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. revealed that he had ordered health officials to ensure that health workers will still receive their Covid-19 allowances despite the expiration of the state of calamity in the country due to the pandemic.
Marcos said this in a meeting with health officials in Malacañang on Feb. 1.
In his remarks, the President said they made sure that health workers would continue their benefits.
"Tuloy-tuloy ‘yan. Yung inaalala ko dati na hindi matutuloy ang compensation para sa ating health workers, yung mga health workers, yung allowance nila (That will continue. We were worried that the compensation and allowances would stop)," he said.
"Pinag-aralan namin nang mabuti kahit hindi itinutuloy ang state of calamity ay hindi maapektuhan ang pagbayad doon sa ating mga health workers ng kanilang mga benefit (We looked into it and made sure that their benefits would not be affected even if we discontinued the state of calamity)," he added.
Former President Rodrigo Duterte signed Proclamation No. 929, declaring a state of calamity across the country in March 2020, when Covid-19 began to spread. It was supposed to last for six months but was extended for a year up to Sept. 12, 2021, via Proclamation No. 1021, and was extended for a second time through Proclamation No. 1218.
President Marcos also mentioned the coronavirus infection situation in the country, saying he discussed with health officials the procurement of vaccines. The COVAX facility, co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO), shipped almost 1.3 million doses of the vaccine to the Philippines.
According to the President, such a number of doses is sufficient for the country for now, noting the declining number of infections in the Philippines based on recent records.
“Pababa naman nang pababa ang ating cases, pababa nang pababa naman ang ating hospitalization, ‘yun ang binabantayan natin. So titingnan natin (The number of cases and hospitalization rate are going down. So we're looking into it),” Marcos said.
He added that the present situation is no longer like in 2021 when the Philippines had to hurry to get vaccines.
“Pabawas na ‘yung risk, so dapat naman eh mag-adjust din tayo doon sa kung ano ba talaga ang scientific na assessment doon sa sitwasyon ng Covid (The risk is lower now, so we should adjust to the scientific assessment of what the Covid-19 situation is now)," the President pointed out.
Department of Health (DOH) officials reported that new Covid-19 cases continue to decline in the country. As of Jan. 29, the DOH logged 9,982 active cases.
From Jan. 23 to 29, the DOH recorded 1,206 new cases, with 172 average daily cases for the period, which was 35 percent lower than the cases from Jan. 16 to 22.
The DOH has vaccinated 73 million individuals, or 94.54 percent of the target population, while 21 million individuals have received booster shots.
Some 6.9 million senior citizens, or 79.47 percent of the target A2 population, have received the primary series of Covid-19 vaccines, while 2.76 million senior citizens had their booster shots.