Duterte grants COVID-19 hazard pay to gov’t frontliners during lockdown

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 23 2020 01:29 PM

A nurse shows the basic hospital at an nCoV holding area on February 05, 2020 at the Ospital ng Paranaque. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte approved on Monday hazard pay for government personnel who continue to physically report for work during the month-long lockdown of Luzon to control the spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Duterte signed Administrative Order No. 26 which grants a maximum of P500 daily hazard pay for government personnel who still report for work regardless of employment status.

“Government employees and workers engaged through contract of service (COS) or job order (JO), whose services are urgently necessary and who physically report for work during the period of the Enhanced Community Quarantine are inevitably exposed to health risks and hazards,” Duterte said in his order.

The grant of the COVID-19 hazard pay is effective starting March 17, 2020, Duterte said.

Personnel working in national government agencies, state universities and colleges, and government-owned or –controlled corporations are entitled to the hazard pay, according to the President’s order. They must be authorized to physically report for work to be eligible for the additional pay.

OTHER BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT

Employees in other branches of government, such as Congress, the judiciary, Office of the Ombudsman, and other independent constitutional bodies, may also grant a maximum of P500 daily hazard pay that can be charged against the personal service allotments in the agency's budget, according to the President’s order.

Duterte said that should there be insufficient funds to cover the P500-hazard pay rate per day, agencies can set a lower but uniform rate that may be granted to qualified personnel.

Hazard pay rates for employees of local government units, including barangay workers, will be determined by their respective councils, depending on the local government’s financial capability and limited at a maximum of P500 per day as well.

The same policy applies to employees of local water districts where hazard pay rates are up to the decision of their respective board of directors.

For frontliners in the private sector, Duterte encouraged private hospitals and other health facilities to grant a similar benefit to their health workers and staff exposed to the threat of COVID-19.

In a public address last week, Duterte said the Filipino nation will "forever be thankful" to health professionals leading the fight against the rapidly spreading disease.