The Department of Health (DOH) said they are now “processing” the benefits of the health workers who got infected and died while saving the lives of others from COVID-19.
“We are processing the checks and working out the necessary documents they need to submit to avail the benefits,” the DOH said.
“As soon as they can submit the necessary documents na ire-require natin, easily naman ma-i-issue natin sa kanila ang mga cheke,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.
(As soon as they submit the necessary documents that we require, we can quickly issue the checks to them.)
DOH also said Thursday that it is targeting to release the joint administrative order that would release the benefits of medical frontliners who died of or survived the respiratory disease.
“So we are happy to update, that the Secretary of Health has already signed this joint administrative order this morning before he left for Mindanao,” Vergeire said during a media briefing.
“And we are just awaiting the signature of both DBM and DOLE. And the commitment was for them to sign before 12 o’clock lunchtime,” she added. “We are hopeful that within the day, this signed joint administrative order will be already issued.”
DOH sourced funds for benefits of COVID-infected health workers
The joint administrative order would establish the implementing guidelines on Section 4F of the Republic Act no. 11469 or Bayanihan to Heal As One Act.
The provisions of the said law explicitly mandated the government to give P1 million each to the families of health workers who lost their lives “while fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Senator Richard Gordon earlier said that as of Monday, 2,669 medical frontliners were infected by the coronavirus, 32 had died while two were in critical condition.
Vergeire however, said the DOH’s tally showed 60 health severely ill and another 19 who were considered critical cases.
DOH Usec explained it took a while for DOH to release the implementing guidelines because they had to source the funds.
“Ating inexplore ‘yung iba ibang posibilidad para magawa natin itong provision na ito sa batas kaya tayo ay natagalan,” she said.
(We explored the different possibilities to ensure the implementation of this provision. That is why it took a while.)
Vergerie further said the health department would realign different budgets to source funds, adding P100 million would come from DOH’s medical assistance funds.
Senators earlier lambasted DOH for failing to distribute the said compensation of COVID-19 heroes.