MANILA – Senator Christopher Lawrence Go on Saturday backed the proposal to grant hazard pay to government personnel who are required to physically report for work during the implementation of enhanced community quarantine in Luzon due to coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
In a press statement, Go said frontline government workers deserve to get additional benefits for being dedicated to their job despite the threat posed by Covid-19.
“The government workers who still go to work during this time put their lives at risk, so they deserve proper compensation. The service that they are giving to the Filipino people is priceless. Granting them hazard pay is the least that we can do for them,” he said.
Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado has requested President Rodrigo Duterte to issue an administrative order, allowing frontline government workers to receive hazard pay not exceeding PHP500 per day.
If approved, those who will receive hazard pay are public health workers, public social workers, science and technology personnel, and military and uniformed personnel.
Qualified for the daily hazard pay are government personnel who occupy regular, contractual or casual positions, and are working under a contract of service and job order arrangements in Metro Manila and other local government units.
Go said he already asked Duterte to approve the proposal.
“Tingin ko naman po ay papayag ang Pangulo sa kahilingang ito. Mahalaga sa kanya ang kapakanan ng ating mga frontliner (I am confident that the President will approve the proposal. The frontliners’ welfare is important to him),” he said.
Go said those who can avail of hazard pay must have been authorized to “physically report for work at their respective offices on the prescribed official working hours by the head of the agency or office.”
For national government agencies, including state universities and colleges, the hazard pay may be charged against their own funds sans the approval of the Department of Budget and Management, Go said.
Go noted that government-owned or -controlled corporations may charge the hazard pay against their budget and may grant a lower but uniform rate for all qualified personnel, in case they do not have sufficient funds.
He added that hazard pay may be granted to employees in the Senate, House of Representatives, the Judiciary, Office of the Ombudsman, and constitutional offices vested with fiscal autonomy.
Go said workers in local government units and local water districts may also be entitled to the hazard pay which may be at a lower but uniform rate, in case of insufficient funds.
“Hindi natin mapipilit kung hindi kaya ng pondo na makaabot ng PHP500 ang hazard pay. Pero sana magawan ng paraan at maibigay sa lalong madaling panahon (We cannot force them to grant PHP500 hazard pay if they do not have sufficient funds. But hopefully, they can find a way as soon as possible), Go said. (PNA)