Press Release
February 4, 2022

Dela Rosa: Ratified COVID-19 allowance bill helps tend to the 'wounds' of frontliners

THE Senate on Wednesday, the last session day before it adjourned, ratified the Bicameral Conference Committee Report on the Disagreeing Provisions of Senate Bill No. 2421 (SBN 2421) and House Bill No. 10701 (HBN 10701) or the "COVID-19 Benefits and Allowances for Health Workers Act of 2021," a bill that will help tend to the 'wounds' of frontliners.

SBN 2421, which grants the COVID-19 benefits and allowances to public and private health workers shall apply to all public and private health workers, regardless of employment status during the state of public health emergency as declared by the President.

Last Monday, senators had approved the bill on third and final reading, an action hailed by Senator Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa as a way of helping tend to the "wounds" of the frontliners.

In a manifestation submitted into the records of the Upper Chamber, Dela Rosa even cited the lyrics in the song "The Warrior is A Child," specifically the part that says "but even winners can get wounded in the fight," in pointing out that frontliners get "wounds" from taking care of COVID-19 patients.

"The 'wound' of not seeing their loved ones for weeks and months, the 'wound' of testing positive for COVID-19, again and again, (and) the 'wound' of sleepless nights and restless days. Far too many 'wounds.' And so today, the approval of Senate Bill No. 2421 on third reading is the Senate's way of helping tend to the 'wounds' of our frontliners," he said.

?Health workers, as defined in the bill, refer to all public and private medical, allied medical and other necessary personnel employed by, and assigned in hospitals, health facilities, laboratories, medical or temporary treatment and monitoring facilities, or vaccination sites and those who are involved in the national health care response to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 and prevent further loss of lives.

The former police chief said a genuine act of gratitude to frontliners "is to show them that they can rely on us, to ensure that they receive the compensation and benefits they deserve."

"Let's honor and extend our utmost gratitude to every health worker who has served and who continues to serve relentlessly during this pandemic, not only today but every day for the rest of our healthy lives," he said.

Dela Rosa is an author and co-sponsor of the measure principally sponsored by Finance Committee Chairman Sonny Angara.

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