The House Committee on Health has approved a bill that will grant allowances and benefits to all health workers during a state of a public health emergency.

The new measure, which is composed of House Bill Nos. 9640, 10198, 10285, and 10365, officially received a nod from the panel on Tuesday (November 9). Although now approved in principle, the bill is still subject to amendments and style. 

If fully realized, the bill will offer health workers with special risk allowance and hazard pay.

According to House Bill 9640, the national government will provide Php 15,000 in special risk allowance and Php 5,000 for active hazard duty pay for all health workers, who are serving during the state of public health emergencies. It will be given at the end of every month.

However, the amount hasn’t been finalized. The bill will be consolidated with the other measures so changes could be made. 

During the online meeting for the bill, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said the hazard pay and special risk allowance that health workers are entitled to at present are lacking. 

“Pursuant to Administrative Order Nos. 35 and 36 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte, public and private health workers are only entitled to special risk allowance not exceeding P5,000 while the frontline human resources for health are entitled to active hazard duty pay not exceeding P3,000,” he explained. 

“These amounts are far cry from the health worker’s demand: P15,000 special risk allowance and P5,000 active hazard duty pay for all health workers,” he added.

The distribution of special allowances and benefits will be enacted immediately whenever a state of public emergency is declared—if the bill is successfully passed into law.

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