Health workers held a picket last November 20, 2020 at the Philippine General Hospital in Manila to protest the delayed release of their hazard pay of P500 a day.
The protest action was organized after “six months of waiting,” said the workers’ union of the University of the Philippines Manila-Philippine General Hospital in a statement emailed to media.
Last March 2020, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Administrative Order 26 that entitles government personnel “whose services are urgently necessary and who physically report for work during the period of an Enhanced Community Quarantine and are inevitably exposed to health risks and hazards” to receive hazard pay. [SEE: AO 26]
The provision of hazard pay is one of the indicators that the government must comply with as part of its Covid-19 loan agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
This is indicated in the Gender Monitoring Matrix of the ADB Covid-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support (CARES) Program.
Based on the matrix, the government is expected to ensure that by October 2020, frontline health workers, of whom 75% are women, should already enjoy health insurance coverage through PhilHealth, receive a special risk allowance of 25% of salary plus hazard pay, P100,000 compensation for severe infection, and a P1 million benefit in case of death. [SEE: Gender Monitoring Matrix, ADB CARES Program]
The $1.5-billion ADB CARES program is co-financed by the Beijing-headquartered Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) through a separate $750-million loan that forms part of the total debts incurred and grants received by the Philippines to address the coronavirus pandemic.
As of late September 2020, the Philippines’ financing to address the pandemic has reached more than $9 billion. [SEE: How much loans, grants has the Philippines received to address Covid-19?]
To help track these the Philippines’ Covid-19 loans, Social Watch Philippines has launched a special project, the Citizens’ Monitoring of Financing for Covid-19 Response and Recovery: Focus on the AIIB Loan, that helps monitor the $750-million AIIB Loan. [SEE: Project Brief]