P500 hazard pay for gov't personnel 'physically' at work during Luzon quarantine

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
P500 hazard pay for gov't personnel 'physically' at work during Luzon quarantine
A Philippine policeman checks a motorist's travel permit at a checkpoint in an almost deserted road in the border between Quezon City and Manila city districts on March 18, 2020, as the government imposed an enhanced couumunity quarantine against the rising numbers of COVID-19 disease infected people. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ordered about half the country's population to stay home for the next month in a drastic bid on March 16 to curb the rising number of new coronavirus cases. If fully enforced, the sweeping order would mean most of the 55 million people on the main island of Luzon, which includes the capital Manila, would be housebound.
AFP / Ted Aljibe

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte authorized the grant of hazard pay to government workers reporting to work amid the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.

Duterte issued Administrative Order 26 granting the COVID-19 Hazard Pay of P500 per day of physically reporting for work during the quarantine period.

"National government agencies, including state universities and colleges and government-owned or –controlled corporations are authorized to grant COVID-2019 Hazard Pay to personnel who physically report for work during the implantation of an Enhanced Community Quarantine in their respective work stations in an amount not exceeding P500 per day person,” it read.

The order is deemed effective immediately after publication on Official Gazette or newspaper in general circulation.

Government work in the executive branch has been suspended until April 12, or the end of the quarantine in Luzon. Essential workers and skeleton forces will continue to report “in order to maintain the unimpeded delivery of services to the public.”

Duterte, in the order, added that those who “are already entitled to hazard pay, hazardous duty pay, hazard allowance or other similar benefits under existing laws, issuances, rules and regulations, such as public health workers, public social workers , science and technology personnel and military and uniformed personnel, shall continue to be entitled to such benefits or the COVID-19 Hazard Pay, whichever is higher.”

He also "stongly encouraged" private hospitals and health facilities to grant a similar hazard pay for their workers.

The order said that the release of COVID-19 hazard pay does not need the further approval of the Department of Budget and Management, if the following conditions are met:

  • Personnel are occupying regular, contractual or casual positions, or are engaged through [contract of service], [job orders] or other similar schemes
  • The personnel have been authorized to physically report for work at their respective offices or work stations on the prescribed official working hours by the head of agency or office during the period of implementation of enhanced community quarantine measures in the area of such office or work station
  • The rate of COVID-19 Hazard Pay shall be based on the number of days an employee physically reports for work

Fund for the hazard pay of workers, meanwhile, will be taken from the following:

  • NGAs and SUCs: For regular, contractual or casual positions, from released Personnel Services (PS) allotments; for COS or JO workers, charged against available released Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses allotments
  • GOCCs: From approved corporate operating budgets for fiscal year. Legislative, Judicial branches and other offices vested with fiscal autonomy: From released PS allotments
  • LGU employees: Shall be determined by their respective Sanggunians depending on the LGU’s financial capability, at rates not exceeding P500 per day per person, subject to: PS limitation in LGU budgets and other conditions of the RA 7160 or the Local Government Code
  • Local Water Districts: Charged against respective Board of Directors approved corporate operating budgets

If the designated source of funding is insufficient, a “lower but uniform rate may be granted for all qualified personnel.”

Duterte said the grant of the hazard pay has retroactive application beginning March 17, which means it covers the first day of the enhanced community quarantine. — with report from The STAR/Alexis Romero

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