The Philippines Bayanihan to Heal as One Act Part 2 will include more incentives for health workers, the spokesperson of the Department of Health (DOH) said on Friday.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said this would help bolster their emergency hiring for health care workers, which had “plateaued” due to lack of applicants.
The country now has 9,725 available slots for emergency hiring of “health human resources” but after months of recruitment, only 7,135 slots have been filled up for 342 facilities.
“We have now included in the recommendation for this Bayanihan to Heal as One Act Part 2 to have additional benefits. So the government’s move is to increase the incentives being offered for our hiring. We have now included in the recommendation for this Bayanihan to Heal as One Act Part 2 additional benefits,” she said.
The proposed benefits include a monthly P10,000 risk allowance for private health workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A number of health workers have complained that either they were not receiving hazard pay or were not being given the correct amount.
Vergeire said the law would also institutionalize “free accommodation, transportation, life insurance, and appropriate compensation” for health care workers.
“So hopefully when the law is passed and we get more applicants. We are trying to improve our incentives, because we know how hard the work is of our health care workers,” she said.
Vergeire said the DOH was also looking into the case of a nurse who died due to COVID-19 and did not get the appropriate hazard pay.
“The law says it’s P500 per day for all health care workers in the public sector,” she said.
She said they were waiting for the local hospital to show how the nurse’s hazard pay was computed.
“We also issued a statement yesterday (Thursday) reminding LGUs they are supposed to provide (hazard pay),” Vergeire added.
She said they might look into stricter sanctions for Bayanihan 2 for those who would not give appropriate benefits for health care workers.