Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go expressed on Saturday his support to grant hazard pay to government personnel who physically report for work during the period of community quarantine relative to the COVID-I9 situation.
“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,” Go said.
Department of Budget and Management Secretary Wendel Avisado has requested President Rodrigo Duterte to issue an Administrative Order that will authorize national government agencies, including state universities and colleges and government-owned and -controlled corporations to grant the hazard pay not exceeding P500 per day.
Qualified for said hazard pay are those who occupy regular, contractual or casual positions and contract of service and job order workers in the National Capital Region and other local government units.
Go said that he also reached out to the President regarding the matter. “Tingin ko naman po ay papayag ang Pangulo sa kahilingang ito. Mahalaga sa kanya ang kapakanan ng ating mga frontliner.”
“Personnel 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,” the DBM recommends.
Go explained that personnel entitled to this 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 (NGAs), including State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), the hazard pay may be charged against their own funds without need for prior authority from the DBM.
For Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs), the amount required may be charged against their budget and, in case, they do not have sufficient funds, they may grant a lower but uniform rate for all qualified personnel.
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.
Employees in local government units and local water districts may also be entitled to the hazard pay, but it may be at a lower but uniform rate in case of insufficient funds.
“Hindi natin mapipilit kung hindi kaya ng pondo na makaabot ng P500 ang hazard pay. Pero sana magawan ng paraan at maibigay sa lalong madaling panahon,” Go said.
“Sa mga panahong ito kung saan andyan ang banta sa kalusugan at buhay ng ating mga mamamayan, pinili ng mga kawani ng pamahalaan na magsilbi sa bayan. Imbes na uunahin nila ang kapakanan ng kanilang pamilya, ninais nilang patuloy na magtrabaho sa kani-kanilang mga opisina upang hindi maputol ang mga serbisyo ng pamahalaan para sa lahat. Nararapat lamang na kilalanin at bigyan ng pagpapahalaga ang mga sakripisyong ito,” the Senator added./Stacy Ang