Heeding the call of healthcare workers who brave the country’s fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), President Rodrigo Duterte “strongly recommended” the inclusion of stipend and additional benefits for medical frontliners in the Bayanihan 2.
The bill contains a stimulus package for the country’s recovery from the impact of the global pandemic.
“Well, if you want to term it stipend or allowances, or pay, give us time, we will make the report. Sana masali ito sa the second Bayanihan,” the president said in his televised public address on Sunday.
He promised that if the stipend would be included in the bill, he would ensure that it will be released to healthcare workers “without delay.”
“From the treasury, diretso na sa inyo. If you want it to be treasury warrant, fine. If you want it to be encashed, fine. We will look for the right persons to distribute it to you. But the thing is you can rest assured that there will be no corruption dito,” he said.
According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Duterte approved his Cabinet’s seven-point recommendation to address issues of healthcare workers after they called for a “timeout”.
Among these are additional benefits for healthcare workers, such as risk allowance for private sector healthcare workers treating COVID-19 patients, the amount of P10,000 to 15,000 for every healthcare worker that gets infected with COVID-19, life insurance, free accommodation, free transportation, free and frequent testing.
On Sunday, Duterte announced that Metro Manila and the provinces of Laguna, Rizal, Cavite, Bulacan will revert back to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from August 4-18, after COVID-19 cases in the country breached 100,000.