President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has instructed the Department of Health (DOH) to organize a team that will facilitate the delivery of assistance to the families of health workers who succumbed or fell severely ill to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“I am asking Secretary Duque to form a new team that would focus on the immediate delivery of the assistance that should be given to those who were — ‘yung namatay tapos ‘yung nagkasakit,” President Duterte said in a taped public address aired on Friday.
“And I expect it within 24 hours. Kay kung wala pa kayong trabaho, mas lalo na — buti sana kung maabutan ng a new team who will take over na mayroon silang makitang trabaho ninyo. From there, they would add their kaalaman and their expertise and then directly deliver the assistance immediately.”
Secretary Duque will have the full authority to assemble the team, which the President said, could be composed of members outside of the department.
Duque, he said, can get persons of known honesty even on temporary basis to take care of the funds intended for the beneficiaries of the health workers.
The President issued a three-day deadline to compensate the kin of the health workers following an outcry over delayed compensation to be given under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
Duque told the President that he has instructed DOH personnel to fast-track the processing of claims to meet the President’s three-day deadline and to immediately distribute the cheques.
“Na-identify na po ‘yung 32 families. Although ‘yung sabi sa akin kanina may mga conflicting claims, may dalawang asawa, may ganun. So sabi ko eh count out mo na lang ‘yon basta ‘yung bulk,” he said.
Under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, public and private healthcare workers who contract severe COVID-19 infection while in the line of duty will be entitled to P100,000 compensation.
Financial assistance amounting P1 million will also be granted to the family of any health worker who will succumb to COVID-19. PND