Gov’t workers to get hazard pay during Luzon lockdown

Sofia Tomacruz

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Gov’t workers to get hazard pay during Luzon lockdown

Government workers in the executive branch are entitled to P500 at most for each day they physically report to work

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte issued an administrative order allowing hazard pay for government workers who physically report to work for the duration of the Luzon-wide lockdown until April 12.  

Duterte ordered this through Administrative Order No. 26 signed on Monday, March 23, where he laid out guidelines on how to grant workers in the executive branch daily hazardous pay of not more than P500.  

Those eligible to receive the hazard pay were workers in national government agencies, state universities and colleges (SUCs), and government owned or controlled corporations (GOCCs). 

Government employees who are already entitled to hazard pay, such as public health workers, social workers, science and technology personnel, uniformed personnel were also eligible for hazard pay under the order, or whichever amount is higher.  

What are the conditions? Heads of agencies can give pay to workers who meet the following conditions:

  • Employee occupies regular, contractual or casual positions; were employed through job order or contract of service 
  • Employee is authorized to physically report to work during the Luzon lockdown 

Each worker is entitled to receive P500 at most for each day they physically report to work.  

Where will funds come from? Agencies and SUCs can source the amount from their personnel services for regular employees, while the amount needed for employees on job orders was to be charged against available maintenance and other operating expenses.  

If there are not enough funds to give workers P500 each, heads of agencies can grant a lower but uniform pay to all qualified employees. 

What about other government workers? Duterte urged the legislative and judicial branches to grant hazard pay to workers part of their offices’ skeleton forces during the lockcdown, observing the same scheme for compensation.  

Hazard pay for local government workers will be determine by their respective Sanggunians, depending on available funds, and not exceeding P500. Local government units were advised to follow limitation on budgets as prescribed by the Local Government Code. 

Rates for employees in local water districts will be determined by their respective boards of directors, though these should not exceed P500.  

As for employees and agencies exempted from the Salary Standardization Law, agency heads and governing boards may determine the amount of hazard pay to be distributed, though these should again not exceed P500. 

Private hospitals and businesses establishments were strongly urged to grant similar hazard pay.

Granting of hazard pay will also be applied retroactively, from when the lockdown started on March 17. 

As the number of novel coronavirus cases continued to rise in the Philippines, Duterte suspended work in the executive branch’s offices in Luzon to prevent the further spread of the virulent disease. 

The Philippines counted 396 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Monday, March 23. The confirmed cases included 33 deaths and 18 recoveries. –

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Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers defense and foreign affairs. Follow her on Twitter via @sofiatomacruz.