New deadline eyed on compensation for COVID-19 frontliners who died in the line of duty

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 03 2020 11:29 AM

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MANILA - Palace spokesman Harry Roque said he will take up the issue raised by senators regarding the delay in the implementation of compensation for health workers who died due to COVID-19 when he meets with President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday.

“I expect in my conversation with the President he will give a new deadline for those responsible in implementing the death benefits and other benefits due our frontliners,” said Roque on ANC’s Headstart.

On Tuesday, several senators hit the Department of Health for the delayed implementation of a Bayanihan Act provision that guaranteed P1-million compensation for health workers who died due to the coronavirus, and P100,000 for those who got severely ill due to the disease.

The provision was not implemented as the DOH has yet to craft the program's implementing rules and regulations (IRR), nearly 3 months since the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act was passed.

“We agree with the senators, that’s why in my talk I will ask the President what is now your mandate, because the last time we talked about stranded OFWs, he simply said I will give these people a deadline.”

Roque said he expects the President to do the same on Thursday by giving responsible parties a deadline when to give out the benefits to health workers stricken with COVID-19 and to the heirs of those who died from the disease.
 
Of the 18,638 COVID-19 cases in the Philippines as of June 1, health workers infected by the virus accounts for 2,669, according to latest data from the DOH, compiled by the ABS-CBN Investigative & Research Group. 

At least 32 health workers in the country have died from COVID-19, and 2 others are severely ill due to the disease, said Sen. Richard Gordon, who also chairs the Philippine Red Cross.

Of those who died, 26 were physicians, 4 were nurses and 2 others were non-medical staff, data show.