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Duterte OKs measure granting continuous benefits for healthcare workers, frontliners

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a measure mandating continuous benefits to all healthcare workers in the country during the COVID-19 pandemic and other future public health emergencies.

Republic Act (RA) No. 11712 otherwise known as the “Public Health Emergency Benefits and Allowances for Healthcare Workers Act” covers both public and private healthcare and non-healthcare workers regardless of their employment status from the time of declaration of the public health emergency until lifted by the President.

Under Section 5, the national government is required to provide additional health emergency allowances (HEA) to the beneficiaries monthly —  with the amount depending on their risk exposure categorization.

Workers deployed in “low-risk areas” shall receive at least P3,000; those in "medium-risk areas” shall be given around P6,000 while individuals assigned in “high-risk areas” shall be granted at least P9,000.

The Department of Health (DOH) is authorized to increase the  HEA provisions but it would be subject to the President’s approval and consultation with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

Likewise, healthcare employees who contracted the coronavirus while on duty are entitled to the following financial compensations:

  • In case of death, P1-million shall be given to the heirs of the covered individual;
  • P100,000 in case of sickness for a severe or critical case;
  • P15,000 for mild and moderate cases.

Beneficiaries should receive the compensation not later than three months after their confinement or death and upon submission of complete and compliant documentary requirements.

The benefits under the new law will be mandated retroactively from July 1, 2021 and will remain enforced while the country is in a state of public health emergency.

Its funding will be charged against the available appropriations of the DOH and any sources available to be identified by the DBM.

Signed on April 27, a copy of the measure was made available to the public on Friday.—AOL, GMA News