In this January 8 photo, a health worker can be seen preparing a vaccine for a recipient in Puerto Princesa City. (File photo from the PPC Covac)

The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved on second reading a measure granting mandatory continuing benefits to public, private, and barangay health workers (BHWs) during the coronavirus disease pandemic and other future public health emergencies.

The chamber passed through voice voting House Bill 10701, which aims to promote the welfare of health workers by providing mandatory benefits with utmost efficiency, especially during a national public health emergency.

Under the measure, all health workers shall receive a special risk allowance (SRA) for every month of service during the state of public health emergency.

The amount shall be based on the risk exposure categorization as follows: those deployed in “low risk areas” shall receive at least PHP3,000; those deployed in “medium risk areas” shall be given at least PHP6,000; those deployed in “high risk areas” shall be given at least PHP9,000.

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The bill provides compensation for covered health workers who have contracted Covid-19 and such other disease or illness in the line of duty during a state of public health emergency.

In case of death, PHP1 million shall be provided to the heirs of the covered individuals.

In case of sickness, PHP100,000 shall be provided to the covered individuals for a severe or critical case, while PHP15,000 shall be provided for a mild or moderate case.

Full Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) coverage shall be granted to health workers who are admitted to a hospital with confirmed Covid-19 infection, and such other disease which is the subject of a public health emergency declaration.

Mandatory testing of health workers every 15 days or as often as necessary shall be fully covered by PhilHealth. (PNA)

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