CALOOCAN CITY, March 31 (PIA) -- Department of Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire over the weekend assured the volunteer health workers that they will be getting additional benefits aside from the daily P500 compensation she earlier announced and apologized for.
This came amid cries of concern from several groups on the measly sum the volunteers will be receiving despite the hazard of the work they will be doing.
Vergeire, in a briefing aired online on Sunday, March 29, clarified that the volunteers will receive additional benefits on top of the daily P500. On the concern that the health volunteers will not be receiving any compensation after the 14 day volunteer work while on a 14 day quarantine, she stressed that they will still be compensated.
"Our health volunteers will be given food and lodging while they are working and while they are on a 14-day quarantine. Added to this is the daily allowance they will be receiving," she emphasized.
Vergeire said the volunteer health care workers on the frontlines against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) will be receiving the following benefits: Package allocated to COVID referral hospitals; daily allowance (including quarantine days); COVID-19 special risk allowance; hazard pay under the Magna Carte for Public Healthcare Workers; transportation Allowance; medical expenses to be shouldered by PhilHealth (P100,000 compensation in case of critical illness, and P1M to be received by family in case of death). The latest count of volunteer health worker as of March 29 has reached almost 700.
For his part, Dr. Anthony Dofitas, a doctor volunteer at PGH said that health volunteers will go on duty either at the ward or at the ICU for 8 hours which will depend on the schedule they will be given and the work they will be doing as health worker. After the two weeks work, they will be told to undergo quarantine for 14 days.
"Volunteers of the alumni have been here already since the start, working in the backlight, in the frontline. We volunteered because this is the right thing to do. The realization is that time is of the essence. This is war and not just any war but a 2020 version of World War II," Dofitas added.
Meanwhile, the latest update (March 29) of COVID- 19 cases as reported by Vergeire:
Positive cases - 1,418
Deaths - 71
Recovered - 42
"Ang kaligtasan ninyo, ng ating mga health workers, ng ating bansa ay nasa inyong mga kamay. Kaya sundin ang mga ipinapayo ng pamahalaan. Magtulungan tayong lahat para masugpo ang COVID-19," Vergeire said.
To those who would like to volunteer, kindly visit www.dohvolunteerportal.gov.org. (PIA NCR)