Malacañang on Tuesday assured the public that the government’s operations and services would remain unhampered despite the rising number of public servants who have contracted the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“Government will never shut down,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a virtual press briefing. “Iyan po ang tungkulin ng gobyerno, never to stop functioning, lalung-lalo na po sa panahon ng Covid (The government’s duty is to never stop functioning, especially amid the Covid-19 pandemic).”
More than 18,000 government workers have been infected with Covid-19 as of August 12, the local newspaper Business Mirror reported on August 14.
Due to the pandemic, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) has issued interim guidelines for alternative work arrangements for government employees.
Government agencies can either adopt a work-from-home arrangement, a skeleton workforce, a four-day workweek, staggered working hours, and other alternative work schemes to ensure the safety of their employees.
The Palace on August 3 also issued a memorandum circular, directing state offices and departments located in areas under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) to adopt a skeleton workforce up to a maximum of 50-percent operational capacity.
On the other hand, all government agencies outside MECQ zones have been instructed to adopt the “most appropriate” alternative work arrangements, based on relevant rules and regulations of the CSC.
Roque said the delivery of basic government services would continue amid the health crisis.
“Iyan po ang dahilan kung bakit nag-50-percent workforce po ang gobyerno, para kung magkasakit po yung ilan ay meron pa pong pupwedeng magpatuloy po ng trabaho sa gobyerno (The reason why we implemented the 50-percent workforce in the government is to make sure that government services would continue even though some would get sick),” he said.
Roque also guaranteed that infected government workers would receive assistance from the government through the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).
“Lahat po sila ay covered ng ating polisiya on testing at lahat po sila ay subject to case rates na ibinibigay po ng PhilHealth kung sila po ay magkasakit ng malala or ng severe (All of them are covered by our policy on testing and subject to PhilHealth’s case rates, in case they have severe symptoms),” he said.
Under PhilHealth’s case or package rates, a total of PHP43,997 will be earmarked for Covid-19 patients with mild pneumonia, PHP143,267 for those with moderate pneumonia, PHP333,519 for those with severe pneumonia, and PHP786,384 for those with critical pneumonia.
PhilHealth has also shouldered the cost for Covid-19 tests, amounting to as high as PHP8,150. (PNA)