MANILA — Government this week will discuss health packages and incentives for people who are on home quarantine due to COVID-19, Malacañang said on Tuesday, as the Philippines logged record coronavirus infections.
“Sa gaganapin na meeting [ng COVID-19 task force] ngayong Thursday, isa ‘yan sa mga pag-uusapan natin: first of all, iyong package, health package na puwede nating ma-offer for those who undergo home isolation,” said Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.
“At dapat maging kabahagi natin dito, kasama natin dito iyong PhilHealth and of course, ‘yong healthcare provider that’s accredited by PhilHealth,” he said in a press briefing.
(During the meeting this Thursday, that will be one of our topics: first of all, the package, health package that we can offer for those who undergo home isolation. And PhilHealth should be part of this discussion, and of course, the healthcare provider that’s accredited by PhilHealth.)
Nograles, acting spokesman for Malacañang, said the labor department should also clarify regulations for workers who call in sick and need to go on quarantine.
“Dapat pag-usapan din natin pa’no ‘yong self-employed or those who are not employed, ano ba ‘yong puwede rin nating ibigay na incentive sa kanila,” said the official.
“This is something that pag-uusapan namin sa IATF (inter-agency task force).”
(We should also talk about the self-employed or those who are not employed, what incentive can we give them. This is something that we will discuss in the IATF.)
Video courtesy of PTV
Asked if government had enough funds for the possible health package and incentives, Nograles said, “We’re working on a new budget right now, it’s 2022, so it’s a fresh budget.”
“The challenge would be to look in the budget… ano iyong puwedeng ma-charge d’yan (where that could be charged) if ever we come up with a decision,” he said.
The Philippines logged 33,169 new coronavirus infections on Monday, bringing the overall tally close to 3 million as the Omicron variant takes its toll, with the overpopulated capital Manila and surrounding provinces worst hit.
The healthcare system is at risk of being overwhelmed, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told ANC news channel, calling on symptomatic people to immediately isolate and get tested.
— With a report from Reuters