NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado of Bohol’s 2nd District has filed a bill proposing the institutionalization of hazard pay for medical and other frontliners in the fight against CoViD-19 and other pandemics, epidemics, and man-made or calamities that might hound the country in the future.
In his explanatory note for House Bill 6796, Aumentado started with CoViD-19 that has caysed a “serious health crises that has disrupted our normal way of life, and the way we conduct work, business, and general day to day activities”.
The bill covers frontliners with direct contact to the patients, or with high risk exposure to hazards, private or public employees who are required to report for duty during pandemics, epidemics, outbreaks, and man-made or natural disasters. They will receive an additional P1,000 per day of work, sans taxes.
Those with only indirect contact with patients, however, will receive such compensation but only at P500 per day of work.
The hazard pay will cover regular and contractual employees, and job order workers, and specifically the barangay health workers.
Aumentado said, “It is but fitting to entitle the frontliners to hazard pay in recognition of their sacrifices and risks encountered in their service to humanity and the nation.”
In driving home his point, the solon echoed the president of the US National Association for Home Care and Hospice who said, “While those risks can be mitigated by way of appropriate protective equipment, training and everything else, the risk is still there. Risk, in itself, generally deserves financial support – not just a pat in the back.” (June S. Blanco)