MANILA — The Department of Health on Wednesday reminded hospitals that health workers undergoing quarantine for exposure to COVID-19 should still receive their hazard pay.
“Within our protocol and even in a DOH and DBM (Department of Budget and Management) joint circular that was issued sinabi po dito na ang mga (it was said here that) health workers who are to undergo quarantine because of being exposed should still receive their benefits,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a virtual briefing when asked about reports of health workers not getting hazard pay due to mandatory quarantine.
“They still need or still have to receive their hazard pay even when they undergo quarantine. Because itong quarantine ay kino-consider natin (we consider) as a paid time for work,” she added.
Vergeire pointed out that some health workers, like those under DOH, even work while under quarantine if they don’t have symptoms, which makes them even more entitled to hazard pay.
The payment of hazard pay and other benefits have long been an issue for health workers, with reports of hospitals or health facilities not giving enough benefits. The DOH had previously said it would investigate such reports.
More than 17,000 health workers have been infected with COVID-19 since the pandemic started, among whom 88 have died.