ON NATIONAL Heroes’ Day, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan calls on the Department of Health to ensure that our medical front-liners receive their P500 daily hazard pay.
“Let us honor and celebrate our everyday heroes against COVID by paying them their due, and releasing their daily hazard pay is the least we could do,” Pangilinan said.
“Araw-araw nilang hinaharap ang COVID, nag-aalaga at nagpapagaling sa mga maysakit, tinitiis nila na hindi makasama ang pamilya, nahihirapan sa commute, at araw-araw ring nakikipagsapalaran sa posibilidad na mahawa ng COVID,” he added.
National Heroes’ Day commemorates the Cry of Pugad Lawin which kicked off the 1896 Philippine Revolution against the Spanish occupation and the struggle toward our independence.
“May mga nagsusumbong po sa amin na hindi naibibigay ang hazard pay ng mga nurses, medical technologists, at iba pang mga health worker sa ating mga public hospitals. Yung iba naman daw, hindi fixed o hindi buo, merong P150, merong P250, at meron ding P450,” Pangilinan said.
“Yung iba, nagsisipag-resign na lang at pumapasok sa call center,” he added.
Pangilinan said the law provides for a minimum P500 daily hazard pay for all front-liners, including health care workers like doctors, nurses, and medical technologists.
He cited Administrative Order 26, which pegs the minimum daily hazard pay at P500 and includes all government workers required to report for work, regardless of whether they are regular, contractual, or casual.
Pangilinan pointed out that Bayanihan 1, or Republic Act 11469, in Section 4(d) also provides for a “’COVID-19 special risk allowance’ in addition to the hazard pay granted under the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers or Republic Act 7305.”
He said the still unsigned P140-billion Bayanihan 2 allocates P13.5 billion for: hiring of emergency “human resources for health,” augmentation for operations of hospitals, monthly special risk allowance, “actual hazard pay,” life insurance, accommodation, transportation, and meals for health workers.
“Ang dami nang sakripisyo ng ating mga front-liner. Mano bang suklian natin ang kanilang serbisyo ng binibigay naman ng ating mga batas?” Pangilinan said.
“Let’s honor our heroes not just with rhetoric but with substance,” he added.
In earlier online hearings during the pandemic, senators questioned Health Secretary Francisco Duque for, among other things, overpriced PPEs, test kits, and other equipment, as well as the delay and/or non-payment of benefits to medical front-liners.