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Duterte grants allowance to gov’t personnel working at swabbing centers

President Rodrigo Duterte has authorized the release of allowances to government employees who volunteered to work at the COVID-19 swabbing centers and test results processing facilities in the country.

Each government employee is entitled to a COVID-19 duty allowance of P500 a day plus a maximum of 25% of monthly basic salary (MBS) during the quarantine period, according to Duterte’s Administrative Order 31 signed on June 15.

The maximum of 25% of MBS will be pro-rated based on the number of days that a government personnel is deployed in the designated facility during the quarantine period.

The grant of COVID-19 duty allowance will be effective from the beginning of operations of the mega swabbing facilities and other designated swabbing and test results processing facilities.

Personnel who are already entitled to hazard pay and other similar benefits will continue to receive them, whichever is higher, the AO said.

“The period within which the government personnel shall be required to undergo mandatory quarantine after their respective deployment to the MSFs or other swabbing or test results processing centers, pursuant to the approved protocols, shall be on official time,” the AO stated.

The four mega swabbing centers are located at the Palacio de Maynila in Pasay City, the Enderun Tent in Taguig City, Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, and the Philippine Sports Stadium in Philippine Arena in Bulacan.

Vince Dizon, the deputy chief implementer of the government’s coronavirus response, reported on Thursday that the Philippines’ COVID-19 testing capacity has reached 51,302 a day as of June 19.

Dizon also said the number of actual tests by laboratories accredited by the Department of Health stood at 16,000 per day. — RSJ, GMA News