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Garin files bill championing welfare of frontline health workers

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Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin filed a measure seeking to protect and provide better benefits for all frontline health workers in times of a pandemic.

“Our frontline health workers have sacrificed, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. They brave going to work each day despite the threat of the virus to serve others,” she said.

“Sa pangangalaga nila ng ating kalusugan, dapat lang na protektahan din natin sila at bigyan ng maayos na benepisyo.” said Garin.

In her House Bill 6955, the former Secretary of the Department of Health wants to institutionalize the allowance of P5,000 provided to frontline health workers at the start of the pandemic as an incentive for their contribution in the fight against during health emergency.

The proposed Frontline Health Workers Welfare Act also provides for free annual influenza vaccinations for health workers and qualified dependents, as well as free pneumococcal vaccination and other mandatory vaccines for health workers.

Garin also proposed extending mental health support benefits for health workers, such as annual paid mental health leaves. Mental health therapy, consultations, and medications shall likewise be made available for frontline health workers up to three years after their end of service under the proposed legislation.

“Nakasalalay sa kanila ang ating buhay lalo na sa ganitong panahon and its just fair and right that we protect them also. Their sacrifices, dedication, hard work and determination can never be underestimated. The physical health, emotional, and the mental well-being of our frontliners should always be considered and prioritized,” Garin added.

In addition, Garin proposed to promote the standards of excellence among Health Care Workers through capacity building that includes but not limited to, continuing medical education and other relevant trainings.