Public health frontliners get extra risk pay under Duterte order

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 06 2020 02:23 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 -- Public health workers on the frontlines of the Philippines' coronavirus response will get an additional allowance, based on an order Monday by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Health frontliners will get at most a quarter of their basic pay as a one-time special risk allowance on top of their hazard pay, based on Administrative Order No. 28. 

"There is a need to recognize the heroic and invaluable contributions of our public health workers throughout the country, who bravely and unselfishly risk their lives and health by being at the forefront of the national effort to address the public health emergency," Duterte said in his order.

National government agencies, government-owned or -controlled corporations, and local government units are allowed to grant the special risk allowance to "public health workers who have great exposure to health risks and physical hardships in the line of duty, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic."

Public health workers eligible for the special risk allowance are medical, allied medical, and other necessary personnel assigned in hospitals and healthcare facilities, and who are directly catering to or in contact with COVID-19 patients, persons under investigation or persons under monitoring.

These may be civilian employees occupying regular, contractual, casual or part-time positions, or workers engaged through a contract of service or job order including barangay health workers assigned to hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

Computation of the special risk allowance will be pro-rated based on the number of days the public health worker reported for work starting March 17.

Health workers who reported to work for 3 to 7 days are entitled to 25 percent of the incentive; 8 to 12 days are entitled to half of the incentive; 13 to 17 days are entitled to 75 percent, and 18 or more days will receive the full incentive.

The following are excluded from the risk allowance grant:

- Consultants and experts engaged for a limited period of time
- Laborers engaged through job contracts (pakyaw) and those paid on piecework basis
- Student-workers and apprentices
- Contract of service or job order workers not assigned to hospitals and healthcare facilities.

Duterte earlier granted a maximum of P500 daily hazard pay for government personnel who still report for work regardless of employment status during the enhanced community quarantine period of Luzon.