MANILA — The second version of the Philippines Bayanihan to Heal as One Act will include more incentives for health workers, the Department of Health said on Friday.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said this will help bolster their emergency hiring for health care workers, which has “plateaued” due to lack of applicants.
The country now has 9,725 available slots for emergency hiring of “health human resources” but after months of recruitment, only 7,135 slots have been filled up for 342 facilities.
“So ang move ng ating gobyerno is taasan ang incentives na ioffer doon sa hiring natin,” Vergeire said. “We have now included in the recommendation for this Bayanihan to Heal as One Act Part 2 na magkaroon ng additional benefits.”
(So the government’s move is to increase the incentives being offered for our hiring. We have now included in the recommendation for this Bayanihan to Heal as One Act Part 2 additional benefits.)
The proposed benefits include a monthly P10,000 risk allowance for private health workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Magkakaroon din ng kalinawan yung special risk allowance ng public health workers per month dyan din. Kasama na rin dyan ang hazard pay na magiging mas malinaw na para sa lahat kung magkano both public and private,” the health official added.
(This will clarify the special risk allowance of public health workers per month. It will also clarify how much the hazard pay is for both public and private health workers.)
A number of health workers have complained that either they were not receiving hazard pay or were not being given the correct amount.
Vergeire said the law will also institutionalize “free accommodation, transportation, life insurance, and appropriate compensation” for health care workers.
“So hopefully pag naipasa ito magkakaroon ng mas maraming mag-apply. Because we are trying to improve our incentives dahil alam naman natin gaano kahirap ang ginagawa ng ating health care workers,” she said.
(So hopefully the law is passed and we get more applicants. We are trying to improve our incentives, because we know how hard the work is of our health care workers.)
Vergeire said the DOH is also looking into the case of a nurse who died due to COVID-19 and did not get the appropriate hazard pay.
“Nakalagay sa batas it’s P500 per day for all health care workers in the public sector,” she said.
(The law says it’s P500 per day for all health care workers in the public sector.)
She said they are waiting for the local hospital to show how the nurse’s hazard pay was computed.
“We also issued a statement yesterday reminding LGUs they are supposed to provide (hazard pay),” Vergeire added.
She said they might look into stricter sanctions for Bayanihan 2 for those who do not give appropriate benefits for health care workers.