Press Release
April 10, 2021


Sen. Grace Poe exhorted the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging and Infectious Diseases and concerned government agencies to act promptly on the call for help of the country's health workers who are falling ill and risking lives as they carry out frontline duties in battling COVID-19.

"The strain of the pandemic is heavily taking its toll on health workers as cases climb. Our doctors, nurses and hospital staff are not insusceptible to the virus, and need protection as well," Poe said.

"As we take care of our patients, let us not forget the needs of the men and women who make sure the sick are treated. Our medical frontliners are the most important human resources that make our health system up and running," she stressed.

On the Day of Valor, several groups of healthcare workers staged an online protest to air their plight as they deal with the pandemic.

They sought government's attention to their woes, saying that while they are committed to their work, they deserve proper compensation and recognition because they have their families to sustain and their countrymen to serve for the long haul.

Poe said health workers should be given what is due them under the law and what they deserve for the vital role they play amid the pandemic.

Risk pay, meals, transportation, accommodation and other allowances should be released without delay. They should also be provided with proper protective gears as they wade into the COVID-19 battlefield to save lives.

The benefits - including those for ill or fallen health workers - under the Bayanihan Law and other pertinent laws and local policies should be given in full to them or their families to show that their selfless services are highly valued.

With the country's healthcare system already shorthanded, Poe pointed out that hospital workers are extending hours and engaging in multi-tasking work to address the surge in patients.

"They answer to the call of duty while battling their own fear and anxiety. We assure them that at the end of a very long day, their services are appreciated and compensated as they have their own families to attend to," Poe said.

Poe said the pandemic has highlighted the extent to which health workers' determined efforts and capacities to protect and save lives are key to ensuring an efficiently functioning health system and society.

"No hospital, medical facility or country can keep patients safe unless its health workers are protected and well taken care of," Poe added.

Under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Law, health workers who fall ill due to COVID-19 in the line of duty will receive compensation amounting to P15,000 for mild cases and P100,000 for severe cases.

The family of the health worker will receive P1 million in case of death.

The law also specified other benefits such as hazard duty pay, monthly special risk allowance, and life insurance, accommodation, transportation and meals to all public and private health workers.

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