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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte has approved granting hazard pay to human resources for health (HRHs) serving at the frontline of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

Duterte signed Administrative Order No. (AO) 35 on November 16, authorizing national government agencies, government-owned or -controlled corporations and local governments to grant a monthly hazard pay of up to P3,000 to frontline HRHs.

Frontline HRHs refer to medical, allied medical and other personnel in the public sector, who are involved in the national health care response to mitigate the transmission of Covid-19 and prevent further loss of lives.

“HRHs, whose services are essential in our fight against Covid-19, and who physically report to the frontlines in the fulfilment of their duties, are inevitably exposed to health risks and hazards,” said Duterte.

Relatedly, the Chief Executive also signed AO 36 directing concerned agencies to grant special risk allowance not exceeding P5,000 per month to all health workers (HWs) who are directly catering to or in contact with Covid-19 patients.

“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,” the latest directive read.

Frontline HRHs and HWs refer to medical, allied medical and other personnel, who are involved in coping with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Excluded from the government support grants include those engaged without employer-employer relationship and funded from non-Personnel Services appropriations/budgets; consultants and experts engaged for a limited period to perform specific activities or services with expected outputs; laborers engaged through job contracts and those paid on piecework basis; student workers and apprentices; and individuals and group of individuals whose services are engaged through COS or JO, including BHWs, who are not assigned to hospitals, laboratories, or medical and quarantine facilities.

Funding for the implementation of AOs 35 and 36 will be sourced from the P13.5 billion appropriated under Section 10(a) of the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act for health-related responses to Covid-19.

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