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A House panel has approved the continuation of Covid-19 benefits for health care workers.

The House Committee on Health passed numerous proposals in principle on Tuesday that would continue to provide allowances and benefits to all public and private health workers amid the public health emergency caused by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

House Bills 9640, 10198, 10285, 10331, and 10365 were passed by the panel, which was chaired by Quezon Rep. Angelina Tan, subject to consolidation and changes.

All public and private health employees immediately catering to or in contact with Covid-19 patients will receive a monthly special risk allowance; all frontline health workers will receive actual hazard duty pay; and all health workers will receive life insurance, lodging, transportation, and food.

In addition, health professionals who contract mild or moderate Covid-19 will be awarded PHP15,000 apiece; PHP100,000 in severe or critical instances; and PHP1 million to the heirs in the event of death.

The different provisions of the proposed Covid-19 Benefits for Health Workers Act require that these benefits continue to be accessible for as long as the president has declared a national public health emergency.

Additional benefits, including psychological treatment for injured health workers, will be included in the proposal, according to Tan.

Tan pointed out that Republic Act 11494, also known as the “Bayanihan to Recover as One Act” or Bayanihan 2, which required health personnel to receive Covid-19 benefits, expired on June 30 this year.

“In fact, the WHO has called on the public to ensure that our health and care workforces are supported, protected, motivated, and equipped to deliver safe health care at all times, not only during Covid-19,” she said.

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