On March 26, 2020, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act 11469 or "Bayanihan to Heal as One Act" into law. It gives him the power to adopt temporary emergency measures to respond to the COVID-19 national health crisis.
This provides answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the said law.
What is the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (RA 11469)?
The Bayanihan to Heal as One Act or Republic Act No. 11469 was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on March 26, 2020 upon the request of the President for the Congress to give him emergency powers in order to address the COVID-19 pandemic. The law authorized the President to adopt temporary emergency measures in order to respond to the crisis brought about by the pandemic.
What are the benefits of COVID-19 patients, patients under investigation (PUIs) and patients under monitoring (PUMs) under the law?
The law provides the compulsory and immediate isolation and treatment of patients, and that the cost of such treatment for COVID-19 patients shall be covered under the National Health Insurance Program of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).
What are the benefits for Health workers under the law?
- COVID-19 Special Risk Allowance will be given to all public health workers on top of their usual hazard pay granted under the Magna Carta of Public health Workers (Republic Act No. 7305).
- PhilHealth coverage for medical expenses of private and public health workers who are diagnosed to have COVID-19.
- P100,000 compensation for health workers who contracted severe COVID-19 infection while in the line of duty, which has retroactive application from 1 February 2020.
- P1,000.000 compensation to those who died fighting the COVID-19 infection, also beginning retroactively from 1 February 2020.
What are the benefits that the public will receive under the law?
The law provides that 18 million families from low-income households shall receive an emergency subsidy of a minimum of P5,000 to a maximum of P8,000 for the next two (2) months based on the prevailing regional minimum wage rate, subject to the current conditional cash transfer (CCT) program and rice subsidy that they are already receiving.
An enhanced Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program will be implemented responsive to the need posed by the crisis.
What are the benefits for the productive sector of the economy under the law?
- A mandatory 30-day grace period for all loans with principal and/or interest falling due within the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) Period ( March 17, 2020 - April 12, 2020 as cited in Proclamation No. 929 dated 16 March 2020), without incurring interest on interests, penalties, fees, and other charges.
- A minimum of 30-day grace period for the payment of residential rent falling due within the ECQ period, without incurring any interest and fees.
- Moving the statutory deadline for the submission of documents, and the payment of taxes, fees, and other charges required by law, and the grant of any benefit.
- Ensure availability of credit by lowering the effective lending rates of interest and reserve requirements of lending institutions
How will the law affect private sector?
The government may direct the operation of any privately-owned hospitals and medical facilities to house health workers, serve as quarantine areas, quarantine centers, medical relief and aid distribution locations, or other temporary medical facilities, and public transportation to ferry health, emergency, and frontline personnel, and other persons. It may also require business to prioritize and accept contracts for materials and services.
What are the punishable acts under the law?
The law provides that aside from acts or omissions already penalized by existing laws, the following acts shall be punishable with imprisonment of 2 months or a fine of P10,000.00 to P1,000,000.00 or both, at the discretion of the court:
- Disobedience by LGU officials of national government policies or directives in imposing quarantine;
- Unjustified refusal of owners and possessors of privately-owned hospitals and facilities; to operate pursuant to the directive of the President.
- Engaging in hoarding, profiteering, injurious speculations, manipulation of prices, product deceptions, and cartels, monopolies, or other combinations in restraint of trade, or other pernicious practices affecting the supply, distribution, and movement of food, clothing, hygiene and sanitation products, medicine and medical supplies, fuel, fertilizers, chemicals, building materials, and equipment required in agriculture, industry and other essential services, and other articles of prime necessity, whether imported or locally produced;
- Refusal to prioritize and accept contracts for materials and services necessary to address the COVID-19 pandemic;
- Refusal to provide the thirty (30)-day grace period;
- Creating, perpetrating, or spreading of false information regarding the COVID-19 crisis on social media and other platforms;
- Failure to comply with reasonable limitations on the operation of certain transportation sectors, whether land, sea or air, be it private or public; and
- Impeding access to roads, streets, and bridges, putting up prohibited encroachments or obstacles, and maintenance of illegal constructions in public places that have been ordered to be removed.
What are our duties as citizens?
Let us help flatten the curve by following the quarantine protocols.
Observe social distancing.
Reach out to people who are in self-isolation through online platforms.
Be responsible. Do not spread false information which may cause panic.
Support our health workers.