Due to the shortage of medical personnel to attend to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients in some hospitals and health facilities nationwide, the Department of Health (DOH) released the interim guidelines for emergency manpower hiring.

Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III pointed out the priority ranking of areas for deployment as follows:

  1. DOH-designated COVID-19 referral hospitals like Philippine General Hospital (PGH), Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP), Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital,
  2. Temporary treatment and monitoring facilities for COVID-19,
  3. DOH-designated COVID-19 diagnostic facilities,
  4. Public hospitals (national and local) handling COVID-19 patients, and
  5. Private hospitals duly designated by the DOH to handle COVID-19 cases.

Health personnel under this emergency hiring guideline involve physicians, nurses and nursing attendants, medical technologists, respiratory therapists, radiologic technologists, medical equipment technicians even administrative assistants and  aides including other personnel that may be needed.

Priority candidates for hire are those who volunteered their services for DOH sites.

The guidelines also outlined the monthly salary compensation, which specifies a “20% premium based on the basic salary, regardless of the number of quarantine days per month; protective personal equipment (PPEs); board and lodging while on duty or on quarantine; psychosocial support, as needed; Continuing Professional Development (CPD) units, which may be granted through Health Human Resource Development Bureau (HHRDB) certification; medico-legal assistance; and preferential evaluation for DOH vacancies, depending on qualifications.”

They will also be receiving a “hazard pay of Php500/day whether on duty or under required quarantine; GSIS group insurance (one time premium of P500); benefits under the Bayanihan We Heal As One Act such as PhilHealth hospitalization benefits, P100,000 in case of infirmity due to COVID-19 and P1 million in case of death; and a communication and transportation allowance of P1,000 per month.”

The initial hire of 857 health care professionals will serve the three identified COVID-19 referral hospitals.

Thanking the health personnel who volunteered to deal with the virus, Duque said, “Your heroism in the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic is an inspiration to the government and to the Filipino people.” (Jojo Mangahis)