MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) said Saturday it is working with legislators to amend the provision of the Bayanihan law that limits the provision of special risk allowance (SRA) to health workers catering to COVID-19 patients.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the DOH is discussing with legislative bodies if a “liberal interpretation” can be applied to the provision of the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2, which grants SRA to healthcare workers “catering to or in direct contact” with COVID-19 patients.
“‘Yan po ngayon ang ating pinapakipag-usap sa ating mga legislature, ‘yung ating legislative bodies, kung maaari po tayong magkaroon ng liberal interpretation of this law,” Vergeire said during the Laging Handa public briefing.
(We are asking our legislative bodies if we can have a liberal interpretation of this law.)
Vergeire said the DOH is “tied” and could not give the SRA to other health workers because of the limitations of the law.
She noted that the Commission on Audit earlier flagged the release of certain benefits to “unqualified” health workers.
“So ngayon nakikipagtrabaho po tayo sa ating mga legislative bodies kung sakali para magkaroon ng amyenda itong batas para maisama na po lahat ng healthcare workers,” she added.
(We are currently working with our legislative bodies so that if ever, this law can be amended and all healthcare workers can receive the SRA.)
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