THE departments of Budget and Management (DBM) and Health (DoH) are streamlining the application process for public and private health workers seeking compensation for falling ill during the pandemic.
In a joint administrative order, the departments said revised implementing guidelines on the grant of COVID-19 compensation “removes ambiguities,” permits “innovative ways of accepting applications,” and “further streamlines the process for the evaluation and grant of compensation to public and private health workers who contract mild or severe COVID-19 while in the line of duty or who die while fighting the disease,” according to the order.
Compensation for healthcare workers who contract COVID-19 is authorized by Republic Act No. 11494 or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act.
The order recognizes that the compensation program has “encountered unforeseen challenges that made the processing times longer and derailed its intended purpose of providing immediate compensation to healthcare workers.”
Under the program, health workers who contracted mild or moderate COVID-19 in the line of duty and have recovered are entitled to P15,000, while those who had severe or critical cases get P100,000.
The corresponding death benefit is P1 million.
The revised guidelines also outline the requirements for eligibility, claim evaluations, and payment processing.
The DoH also declared its intent to continue with the compensation program despite the expiry of the Bayanihan act.
“The DoH finds it imperative to continue the provision of compensation granted to health workers considering that the latter remain vulnerable to COVID-19 as they continue to serve… thus, the government commits to continue granting compensation to these eligible health workers,” it added. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson