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Palace checking number of health workers with severe COVID-19 cases

Malacañang said Wednesday it would verify the number of health workers with severe cases of COVID-19 as these individuals are qualified to receive compensation from the government.

“I’d like to verify how many actually should be entitled because it’s maybe a bit difficult to believe that only about 20 frontliners became critically ill with COVID-19. So, we will have to check on that figure,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque told ANC.

The Department of Health said on Tuesday that it distributed all 19 checks worth P100,000 each for the health workers who contracted severe COVID-19 while in the line of duty.  It also said all checks for 32 qualified beneficiaries of the P1-million death benefit have been issued.

Of the 32 checks, 30 have been received by the families of the deceased health workers.

The compensation was mandated by the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, which gave President Rodrigo Duterte special powers to tackle the COVID-19 crisis.

Duterte earlier gave health officials until Tuesday to complete the distribution of the financial assistance, which had been hampered by the lack of implementing rules and regulations.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III blamed his subordinates for the delay before taking responsibility. —LDF, GMA News