Malacañang on Thursday vowed to prevent delays in the release of hazard pay and other benefits of medical front-liners following reports that a nurse from Cainta, Rizal died of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) without receiving such.
In a virtual Palace briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque offered sympathies to the family of Cainta Municipal Hospital nurse Tess Cruz who reportedly received Covid-19 hazard pay of only PHP64 per day for 41 days.
Under Administrative Order 26, a Covid-19 hazard pay of PHP500 per day should be given to government workers, including healthcare workers, who physically report for work.
Roque said he would “personally” ensure that Cruz receives the PHP1-million compensation for healthcare workers who succumbed to the disease as mandated by the Bayanihan Law.
“I wish to condole with the family of the deceased nurse. Bagamat hindi po nakuha on time at yung ine-expect nilang hazard pay, sisiguraduhin ko po ngayon personally na makukuha yung ayuda na ibinibibigay po sa health frontliners na namatay po dahil sa Covid (Even if she did not receive the hazard pay on time and in the expected amount, I will personally make sure that they get the assistance given to health front-liners who died from Covid),” he said.
From now on, he emphasized that all medical front-liners will receive their Covid-19 hazard pay and other benefits on time.
“Sisiguraduhin natin na ang ganitong delay ay hindi mangyayari (We will make sure that this type of delay will no longer happen),” he said.
The Department of Health (DOH), he said, will have to guarantee that local hospitals also comply with the Administrative Order 26 on the release of Covid-19 hazard pay.
Roque clarified that he did not necessarily hold the Cainta municipal government accountable, recognizing that the grant of Covid-19 hazard pay to healthcare workers will depend on the financial capability of their local governments.
“Yung AO kinikilala rin na iba-iba yung kakayahan ng iba’t-ibang local na pamahalaan na magbigay ng ganitong hazard pay. Nagkataon po siguro na hindi kaya na magbigay ng siyudad ng Cainta ng PHP500 (The AO recognizes that local governments have different financial capabilities to provide hazard pay. Perhaps it just so happens that the municipality of Cainta does not have the capability to give PHP500),” he said.
He expressed hope that the DOH would be able to provide assistance to local hospitals which are struggling financially.
“Siguro magsu-survey kung ilan talaga yung mga nakaka-comply sa mga lokal na mga hospital at titingnan po natin kung pupuwedeng maibsan yng kakulangan na ‘yan ng DOH kung merong pamamaraan dahil meron din pong mga legal restrictions siyempre (Perhaps we can conduct a survey to find out how may local hospitals can comply and find out how the DOH can mitigate what local hospitals lack if there are ways because there are also legal restrictions),” he said.
Meanwhile, Roque assured that there are no other displaced workers in government besides the 100 Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1 employees recently laid off due to a 90 percent drop in passengers.
“Wala pa naman pong ahensiya ng gobyerno na nagle-layoff. It’s mostly private po (None of the government agencies are laying off workers. It’s mostly private),” he said.
He said workers who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic may consider working for government. (PNA)