MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved on second reading a proposed law granting mandatory continuing benefits to public and private health workers, including barangay health workers, during public health emergencies.
Via voice voting, the lower chamber approved House Bill No. 10701 or the "Public Health Emergency Benefits for Health Workers Act."
Under the measure, the national government shall ensure the provision of a special risk allowance (SRA) for all health workers for every month of service during a state of a public health emergency.
The amount given to health workers depend on the risk exposure categorization which is as follows:
- Those deployed in "low-risk areas" shall be given at least P3,000;
- Those deployed in "medium risk areas" shall be given at least P6,000; and
- Those deployed in "high-risk areas" shall be given at least P9,000
The measure likewise provides compensation for health workers who have contracted COVID-19 and such other disease or illness in the line of duty during a state of a public health emergency.
The amount to be received is based on the following:
- In case of death, P1 million shall be provided to the heirs of the covered individuals;
- In case of sickness, for a severe or critical case, P100,000 shall be provided to the covered individuals; and,
- In case of sickness, for a mild or moderate case, P15,000 shall be provided to the covered individuals
Health workers shall also undergo mandatory testing every 15 days, or as often as necessary, and the cost of the test shall be covered by the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. Health workers who have contracted COVID-19 in line of duty shall also continuously be compensated.
The measure will be up for third reading approval.
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