The proposal of Senator Dick Gordon to give additional compensation to families of Filipino health care workers who died fighting the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was adopted by the Senate recently during a special session to deliberate on Senate Bill No. 1418 or the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.”

As the Senators amended the bill that seeks to give the President Duterte special powers to address and deal with the pandemic, Gordon, Vice Chairperson of the Committee on Finance, proposed that a compensation amounting to P1 million be given to the families of public and private health workers who contracted COVID-19 and died while serving the front line.

“Health workers who are severely afflicted by the virus shall be given P100,000 each.”

Health workers who are severely afflicted by the virus, on the other hand, will be given P100,000 each.

“We have to put the money in such a way that it would be spent wisely, it would reach the people. [Iyong] doktor, nurse o medtech, kung mamatay, mabigyan sila, iyong kanilang pamilya ng at least panlaban dahil wala na sila, wala na iyong breadwinner, mayroong P1 million,” the veteran legislator stressed.

“Government health workers and other frontliners should be given hazard pays.”

During the period of amendments, the seasoned lawmaker also said government health workers and other front liners should be given hazard pay and be provided with personal protection equipment (PPE) so that they will be protected against the coronavirus.

“Iyong mga nurse natin, dapat may hazard pay, iyong mga nasa gobyerno natin, may hazard pay. Iyong mga magtse-check sa mga bahay kung magbibigay tayo ng pagkain o pera, dapat diyan mayroong PPE o proteksyon kapag nag-aabot tayo ng gamit. So, lahat iyan kailangang hanapin natin kung papaano natin tutulungan para maibsan na hindi na makadagdag pa na makakuha ng sakit dito sa laban sa coronavirus,” the senator said.

After a whole day of deliberations, SB No. 1418 was approved on third and final reading early morning of Tuesday, March 24, with 12-0 votes.

The meeting was scheduled after the national government requested the lawmakers to hold a special session to tackle a bill that seeks to realign available government funds and approve a supplemental budget that will be allocated to address the dangers of COVID-19 in the country.


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