President Rodrigo Duterte thanked doctors, nurses, and other health workers for attending to patients who tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Duterte, in a televised public address, also vowed to express his gratitude to them “in a more tangible way” when the health crisis is over.
He also directed the departments of budget and management (DBM) and health (DOH) to find a way to best compensate health workers.
Earlier, Senator Risa Hontiveros called for the grant of hazard pay to health workers, government employees, military and police, security personnel, service workers and other frontliners in the government’s efforts to contain the Covid-19 outbreak.
Under the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers (Republic Act 7305) doctors, nurses and other health workers whose work exposes them to “danger, occupational risks and perils to life” must receive an additional hazard pay which can be as much as 25 percent of their monthly basic salary, depending on their pay grade.
Health workers, peace and order officers, workers from night shift with valid IDs, and local government officers, are exempted from the “enhanced community quarantine” which will be in effect from March 17 until April 12.
Since mass public transportation facilities will be suspended, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año assured health workers that local government units (LGUs) may provide them with transportation to take them to work.
He, however, said public transport will be limited to “restrict movement to the maximum.”
Under enhanced community quarantine, only private establishments providing basic necessities related to food, medicine, banks, power, energy, water, telecommunications, and the like will remain open.
A strict home quarantine will be observed in all households limited to “accessing basic necessities” while the presence of uniformed personnel will be heightened.
There are 142 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country with 12 fatalities, according to the Department of Health (DOH).
With more than 100 countries affected by Covid-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the Covid-19 outbreak a pandemic which means a worldwide spread of a new disease. (PNA)