MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN): The P100,000-compensation to healthcare workers who fell severely ill from the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) provided under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act can be expanded to also cover non-severe cases, Senator Sonny Angara said on Friday (July 3).
Angara said the provision under the proposed Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, or Bayanihan 2, which retains the grant of a P100,000-compensation to healthcare workers who contract a severe infection of the coronavirus in the line of duty provided under the first Bayanihan law, can be amended to include cases which are not severe.
Under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, health workers who become severely ill in the line of duty are to get a compensation of P100,000 (US$2,000) while the family of those who died of Covid-19 in the line of duty would get P1 million (US$20,000).
“We can amend that, because what is stated in the Bayanihan 1 is when a healthcare worker contracts severe infection, he/she will be given P100,000. So we can omit the word ‘severe’ so that more healthcare workers can benefit from it.”
This, as Angara expressed the Senate’s readiness to convene in a special session to pass the Bayanihan 2 after presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that the executive branch will be calling for a special session of Congress for the passage of the measure.
“We are ready. I think they are just arranging the date because, in three weeks, the President will deliver his State of the Nation Address. So maybe the executive branch is just looking for space in between those three weeks on when and how long the special session will be… But the Senate is ready. We have long been ready for when the President will call for a special session of Congress.”
Congress adjourned sine die last month without passing on third and final reading Bayanihan 2, the bill seen to replace the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act which granted the President additional powers to address the coronavirus pandemic.
The first Bayanihan law lapsed on June 25.
While Congress is currently still on break and will only resume for its second regular session on July 27, the same day President Rodrigo Duterte will deliver his fifth State of the Nation Address, the chief executive can call for a special session of Congress to tackle urgent measures.
The Philippines has so far confirmed 38,805 Covid-19 cases. Of the number, 10,673 patients have recovered while 1,274 have died. – Philippine Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network