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BSP governor cites ICT reforms

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Swab facilities volunteers to get allowance 

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President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the release of allowance to government personnel who volunteered to work in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) mega swabbing facilities.

In Administrative Order 31 he signed on June 15, Duterte said each government employee was entitled to a Covid-19 duty allowance of P500 a day plus 25 percent of their monthly basic salary (MBS) during the quarantine period.

The 25 percent of the basic pay will be prorated based on the number of days that a worker is deployed in the swabbing facility during the quarantine period.

The duty allowance will be effective from the beginning of operations of the swabbing facilities and other designated swabbing and test results processing facilities.

Personnel who are already entitled to hazard pay and other similar benefits will continue to receive them, or whichever is higher.

The four mega swabbing centers are at the Palacio de Maynila in Pasay City, the Enderun Tent in Taguig City, Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, and the Philippine Sports Stadium in Philippine Arena in Bulacan.

On Thursday, National Policy Against Covid-19 Deputy Chief Implementer Vivencio Dizon said the Philippines’ Covid-19 testing capacity had reached 51,302 a day as of June 19.

Dizon said a high number of confirmed Covid-19 cases was to be expected in the coming weeks as the government accelerated its testing.

“This is important that our public should understand that while we are increasing our testing capacity, we will find more positive cases; but the positivity rate is declining,” he said.

Meanwhile, Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. announced that all media workers are entitled to free Covid-19 testing.

Roque said the free polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing would be offered to reporters, cameramen and photographers, newsroom employees and other media workers.

During Thursday’s virtual presser, Roque said all PCR tests would be paid by the Philippine Health Insurance Corp.

Besides media, other non-medical front-liners entitled to free Covid-19 testing are the police, military, coast guard, Bureau of Fire Protection workers, barangay tanod, contact tracing teams, mortuary and cemetery workers, and social workers and other facility volunteers.

Roque said residents in hot spot villages might also receive free testing.

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