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Galaw galaw para magamit! Manny Lopez urges DOH: Rush release of health workers’ benefits

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By Billy Begas

House committee on Metro Manila Development chairperson and Manila Rep. Manny Lopez on Thursday asked the Department of Health (DOH) to expedite the release of all mandated benefits to healthcare workers who contracted COVID-19.

“As some of you may know, I am a newly-minted COVID-survivor. I know and experienced first hand the difficulty this disease brings to those it afflicts as well as to their family members and loved ones. I also realized, even more now, the strain and difficulty this disease brings to our healthcare workers,” Lopez said.

Lopez said healthcare workers are putting at risk not just their lives but the lives of their family members when they report to work to take care of the COVID-19 patients.

DOH data showed that as of March 26 a total of 15,662 healthcare workers contracted COVID-19 and 82 of them died. “Considering the current surge of infections, particularly in Metro Manila, this number has definitely increased.”

Lopez urged the DOH to release data to determine who among the qualified beneficiaries have been indemnified, those waiting indemnification and those who were disqualified to receive the benefits.

He said the least the government can do for the frontliners, both in the private and public sector, is to make sure that the benefits and allowances due to them under the laws are provided in full and with dispatch.

Under the Bayanihan 2 health care workers infected with COVID-19 will be given P15,000 for mild or moderate cases, P100,000 for severe or critical illness, and P1 million in the event of death.