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First COVID-19 death compensation check delivered June 4 – DOH

The first coronavirus death compensation check was delivered Thursday night, June 4, to the family of a health worker who died of the disease, the Department of Health said on Friday, June 5.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the check was handed out by DOH undersecretaries Gerardo Bayugo and Roger Tong-an.

On Thursday, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the DOH to release the sickness and death compensation to health workers affected by coronavirus within 24 hours. This address was aired on Friday morning.

Vergeire said that 10 more checks are to be delivered to the families living in Metro Manila on Friday, two were sent to those in Davao Region, while the rest were already received by the DOH regional offices.

The undersecretary added that Health Secretary Francisco Duque III had personally visited the families of the late health workers in Manila. Vergeire did not say when the visit happened.

In claiming the death benefit, Vergeire said that the families may directly coordinate with  DOH regional offices nationwide.

"Kasalukyang po naming tinutulungan ang iba pang pamilya na naulila 32 health workers upang gabayan sila at matulungan sila pagsumite ng mga dokumento na kinakailangan sa pag-claim ng benefit na ito," Vergeire said.

(We are currently helping the other families that the 32 health workers left to guide them on what documents are needed to be submitted in claiming this benefit.)

Under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, severely infected health workers should receive P100,000 each, while the families of those who died from the disease are entitled P1 million.

DOH has until Tuesday, June 9 to distribute the rest of the sickness benefit to health workers, based on the previous deadline set by the President.

As of June 1, 32 health workers have died from COVID-19, while 2 others remain severely ill. Of those who died, 26 were physicians, 4 were nurses, and 2 were non-medical personnel.

DOH attributed the delayed release of the benefit package to the joint administrative order on the health workers' compensation that was signed only on June 2 – more than two months after the Bayanihan Act became effective in March.

As of Thursday, the Philippines recorded 20,626 cases of coronavirus infections, with 987 deaths and 4,339 recoveries. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler. Before writing about politicians, she covered budget, labor, and transportation issues.

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