Duterte grants active hazard duty pay to health front-liners

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DAVAO CITY — Health frontliners will soon receive their active hazard pa duty (AHPD) as the country continues to the coronavirus pandemic.

This, after President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday signed administrative Order No. 35 which authorizes the grant of AHPD.

The sign ing of the AO is among the provision of Republic Act 11494 or the Bayanihan to Recover As One Act (Bayanihan 2), which was approved two months ago.

In said AO, Duterte recognizes that human resources for health (HRHs) physically report to the frontliners in the who sacrificed despite the risk of getting exposed to the health risks and hazards.

The AO stated “National government agencies, government-owned or -controlled corporations and local government units are hereby authorized to grant AHDP up to PHP3,000 per month to frontline HRHs which shall be in addition to any Hazard Pay, Hazardous Duty Pay, Hazard Allowance, Special Risk Allowance or other similar benefits under existing laws, issuances, rules, and regulations, and shall be exempt from income tax.”

Frontline HRHs refer to medical, allied medical, and other personnel in the public sector, who are involved in the national healthcare response to mitigate the transmission of Covid-19 and prevent further loss of lives.

They can be civilian employees occupying regular, contractual or casual positions, whether full or part-time or workers engaged through contract of service (COS) or job order (JO), including duly accredited and registered barangay health workers (BHWs), who are assigned to hospitals, laboratories or medical and quarantine facilities, and whose official duties and responsibilities are directly related to the healthcare response of the government to Covid-19.

Under the AO, front line HRHs must physically report for work at their assigned work stations on the prescribed official working hours.

The grant of the Covid-19 AHDP will be pro-rated based on the number of days that the front line HRHs physically report for work in a month, reckoned from Sept. 15 until Dec. 19.

Consultants and experts engaged for a limited period to perform specific activities or services with expected outputs; laborers engaged through job contracts and those paid on piecework basis; student workers and apprentices; and individuals and group of individuals whose services are engaged through COS or JO, including BHWs, who are not assigned to hospitals, laboratories or medical and quarantine facilities will be excluded from the grant of AHDP.

The fund for the implementation of the AO will be sourced from the PHP13.5 billion appropriated under Bayanihan 2.

The Department of Budget and Management, in coordination with the Department of Health, will issue the guidelines necessary for the effective implementation of the order.

The order takes effect immediately following its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.

Last March, Duterte issued AO No. 26 granting a Covid-19 hazard pay at the rate of PHP500 per day to government workers who physically report for work.

AO No. 26 funds were sourced from the already-lapsed Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act (Bayanihan 1). -Newsline.ph with PNA report

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