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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed Administrative Order No. (AO) 28, granting a special risk allowance (SRA) to frontline public health workers (PHWs) during the month-long enhanced community quarantine.

Duterte’s latest directive mandates national government agencies, government-owned or -controlled corporations, and local government units to grant a one-time SRA, equivalent to a maximum of 25 percent of monthly basic salary or pay to PHWs dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the AO, PHWs are defined as “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.”

“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,” said Duterte.

Section 4(d) of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (Republic Act 11469) authorized the president to provide Covid-19 SRA to all PHWs, in addition to the hazard pay granted under Republic Act 7305 or the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers.

The Department of Budget and Management was tasked to issue supplemental guidelines for the effective implementation of the Order.

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