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DOH blamed for delayed benefits for health workers under Bayanihan

Cagayan de Oro City 2nd district Rep. Rufus Rodriguez has blamed the Department of Health (DOH) for the delay in the release of health workers’ benefits like the hazard pay and special risk allowance for doctors, nurses, and other health workers in public hospitals throughout the country.

Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez (FACEBOOK / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

According to Rodriguez, the DOH central office has not released the needed money to public hospitals, thus leading to the “demoralization” of the beneficiaries.

He said Congress had mandated the payment of such emolument under Republic Act (RA) No. 11469, the Bayanihan to Heal as One Law, by empowering President Duterte to “ensure that all public health workers are protected by providing them with a COVID-19 special risk allowance, in addition to the hazard pay granted under the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers, Republic Act No. 7305.”

The Bayanihan law was enacted in March just days after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic.

“This four-month delay has caused the demoralization of our public health workers. While they are giving all they’ve got to take care of the COVID-19 patients, the DOH is not giving attention to them by delaying the giving of the mandated amounts to them,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said that doctors, nurses, and other health workers are “at the forefront of our battle against COVID-19, as they are the ones who face this virus head-on, risking their own personal safety, which unfortunately resulted in deaths among them.”

“This only highlights the extreme danger our doctors, nurses, and others in the health sector and medical field face in saving lives,” he added.

In House Resolution (HR) No. 1055, Rodriguez bared that health workers in Northern Mindanao Medical Center in Cagayan de Oro–the designated COVID-19 referral hospital in Region 10–were among the DOH and government hospital personnel who have not received their hazard and special risk incentives.

“It is very clear that our doctors, nurses, other health workers, including job orders, are entitled to hazard pay and special risk allowance. However, until today, there are still those who have yet to receive the amounts representing their hazard pay and special risk allowance,” he said.

The veteran lawmaker noted that there was a similar delay in the grant of benefits under the Bayanihan law to public and private health sector personnel infected by the new coronavirus who are entitled to P100,000. The benefit to their families was raised to P1 million in case they die fighting the disease.

“Last month, President Duterte aired his anger and frustration over delays in the release of compensation to infected health workers in violation of the law. The President also warned that he would fire officials responsible for the delay,” Rodriguez said.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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