MANILA - The family of a nurse who died after serving in the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19 can be assured of a P1 million aid, Malacañang said Thursday as it vowed to ensure the timely release of benefits of health workers.
The plight of Tess Cruz, a nurse at the Cainta Municipal Hospital, was brought to the public by her daughter Joie Cruz, who lamented how her mother was "treated way below what she deserves."
The nurse, according to her daughter, received only a hazard pay equivalent to P64 a day, contrary to expectations of a P500 daily additional pay.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque condoled with the family of the nurse, saying he would see to it that they would receive the government-mandated cash aid of P1 million under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
"Bagama't hindi po nakuha on time at 'yung ine-expect nilang hazard pay. Sisiguraduhin ko po personally na makukuha 'yung ayuda na binibigay sa health frontliners na namatay dahil sa COVID-19," Roque said.
(Even though they didn't receive on time the expected hazard pay. I will personally see to it that they will get the aid given to health frontliners who die because of COVID-19.)
Roque said the delay in the release of hazard pay was unacceptable, saying the government would study how to avoid such incidents in the future.
"Sisiguraduhin natin na 'yung ganitong delay ay hindi mangyayari. Unfortunately po, ito po ay isang local hospital na pinatatakbo po ng isang lokal na pamahalaan," he said.
(We will see to it that delays like this would no longer happen. Unfortunately, this is a local hospital ran by the local government.)
Under Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act, public and private health workers who contract severe COVID-19 infection while in the line of duty will receive a compensation of P100,000, and those who die “while fighting the COVID-19 pandemic” will be compensated with P1 million.