DOH: Allowances based on health workers’ COVID-19 exposure risk more efficient

25-Jan-2022 Intellasia | PhilStar | 5:02 AM Print This Post

The new compensation system that would replace the special risk allowances given to healthcare workers aims to ‘streamline’ the processes, the Department of Health said Monday.

Last week, the DOH said the active hazard duty pay, meals, accommodation and transportation allowance, and the special risk allowance will be discontinued and replaced by a “more inclusive and responsive” One COVID-19 Allowance (OCA).

In an interview with CNN Philippines, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the new compensation system “will streamline everything and make transactions more efficient.”

The agency said the allowance will be “equally distributed” to medical workers, taking into account their COVID-19 exposure classification. Those deemed high risk will be given P9,000. Meanwhile, health workers classified as moderate and low risk will be given P6,000 and P3,000, respectively.

DOH’s Administrative Order 2022-0001 lists the guidelines on how to determine a health worker’s risk exposure. The risk classification will be used for the allocation and prioritisation of personal protective equipment, vaccines, COVID-19 testing, and benefits.

“Wala pong nabawas. Pinag-isa lang natin para mas madali at magkaroon ng regular na pagtanggap ng healthcare workers without having to wait because of these validations that we are doing when they submit their list,” Vergeire said.

(Nothing was cut. We just consolidated it so our health workers will receive the benefits regularly.)

‘Divisive’

The Alliance of Health Workers criticised DOH’s administrative order as “divisive and [discriminatory.]”

“AO-2022-0001 is unjust and an insult to all health workers. It differentiates the amount of risk pay each health worker will receive. It also devalued the role and sacrifices of the health workers,” AHW said.

“In winning the war against the pandemic, AHW asserts that every health worker’s role is greatly valued as they are at HIGH RISK thus there is NO moderate and low risk,” it added.

The group called on the DOH to give adequate and equitable compensation to all health workers “in recognition of their dedication and commitment as they risk their lives serving the people.”

In response, Vergeire said the order on workers’ risk level had “no intention to be discriminatory.”

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III also defended the policy.

“Hindi naman pwedeng lahat pareho. ‘Yung iba naman malayo sa kanilang pangangalaga ang mga COVID-19 cases at ‘yung iba naman na directly catering to and in contact with COVID-19 cases, sila ‘yung may higher risk of exposure kaya tama lang na mas malaki ‘yung kanilang matatanggap,” he said.

(Not everyone can have the same risk classification. There are health workers who are not caring for COVID-19 cases, while there are those who are directly catering to and in contact with COVID-19 cases. They are the ones with higher risk of exposure, that’s why it’s right that they will receive bigger amount)

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2022/01/24/2156034/doh-allowances-based-health-workers-covid-19-exposure-risk-more-efficient

 

Category: Philippines

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