MANILA – Healthcare workers will continue to receive their hazard pay and other benefits should the country end its COVID-19 national health emergency, the Department of Health said Thursday.
"Hazard pay is already part of the basic pay of all health-care workers because of the Magna Carta benefits of all health-care workers. Your hazard pay and other benefits that are being given to you would still continue,” DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said.
In a press briefing Wednesday, the acting health chief said the health-care workers' health emergency allowance would be affected should the public health emergency be lifted.
"'Pag natapos itong state of public health emergency, titigil na itong mga health emergency allowance kasi doon nakatali ang mga benepisyo na 'yan," she said.
Vergeire described the health emergency allowance as something given over and above the hazard pay because of the threats health-care workers face in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Health-care workers have continuously lamented the delay in receiving the additional benefit. But the DOH earlier said it had already disbursed funds to all Centers for Health Developments that would cover health-care workers’ allowance until December 2022.
The health official said that they are now in talks with the House of Representatives in terms of the standardization of salaries of health workers in both private and public facilities.
“Maraming kelangan pagaralan kasi kailangan hindi magkaroon ng market failure kumbaga because we don’t want that there would be entities that cannot cope, especially the private sector and the smaller facilities," Vergeire has said.
"Baka hindi sila maka-adjust 'pag ginawang standardized ang salaries.
"But we are one with health-care workers to provide all these benefits to them,” Vergeire has added.