DOH denies asking volunteers to sign waiver on COVID-19

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 30 2020 08:06 PM

MANILA — The Department of Health on Monday denied reports that their volunteers are being made to sign waivers in case they contract the COVID-19.

“Gusto po naming linawin dito sa DOH: Hindi kami nagre-require na pumirma ng waivers ang ating mga volunteers,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a televised briefing. 

(We want to clarify here at the DOH that we are not requiring volunteers to sign waivers.)

Vergeire said volunteers are made to sign an agreement that states their intention to serve as such.

“Nakasaad din po na kinikilala ng DOH ang panganib na susuungin ng isang volunteer kung kaya’t sila ay nararapat mabigyan ng kaukulang benepisyo sa ilalim ng 'Bayanihan to Heal as One Act',” she said.

(What is also written is that the DOH recognizes the danger that they will be facing and that is why they are eligible to receive benefits under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.)

Under the said law, health workers who contract severe COVID-19 infection on duty will be given a cash compensation of P100,000, while those who die due to COVID-19 are entitled to P1 million for their families.

Vergeire said the volunteer agreement also specifies that the volunteer should have the proper education and training, and that he or she should not divulge confidential information from the DOH.

Health workers last week decried the P500 daily allowance allotted by the DOH for its volunteers, especially since they will be deployed to hospitals treating COVID-19 patients.

There are now 1,546 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines. A number of them are doctors and other health workers, although the DOH has yet to release the number of health professionals who contracted COVID-19 while on the job.