Quezon City Lawmaker Pushes Pandemic Benefits for Social Workers in the Philippines
Quezon City Congressman Alfred Vargas is proposing pandemic benefits for social workers providing essential service during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vargas stated, “Public social workers perform vital and valuable work in the delivery of social services to the Filipino people amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”
Vargas noted, “They are heroes, promoting the good and welfare of our communities through a profession rooted on selflessness. This fact has especially rang true during these difficult times.”
Last week, Vargas, who leads the House Committee on Social Services, filed House Bill (HB) No. 10810 aims to give the following benefits aside from the ₱1 million compensation for death, ₱100,000 for severe COVID cases, and ₱15,000 for mild and moderate symptoms, such as:
- fixed monthly special risk allowances;
- active hazard duty pays;
- PhilHealth coverage on all work-related medical expenses;
- life insurance coverage; and
- cost of their accommodation, transportation, and meals, or their cash equivalent, and other benefits.
The bill is currently pending for 1st reading in Congress. Once approved the bill shall cover all registered social workers including those whose services are employed in job orders or contracts of service.
The statement expressed that the funding of HB No. 10810 will be sourced from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund (MPBF), together with the other sources identified by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
Furthermore, Vargas mentioned, “It is the hope of this measure to provide better working conditions and more just and equitable benefits for social workers in the country, which would, in turn, inspire them as they accomplish their duties with care and compassion.”
Earlier, Vargas has already filed a bill extending additional benefits for healthcare frontliners.
He cited, “Social workers have been helping us day in, day out during this pandemic. They have been very diligent, providing social services despite the risks to their and their family’s health. This bill is a return of gratitude. It shows our collective appreciation for their work—that we value the immeasurable good that they do for our fellow Filipinos.”