Republic Act 11469 known as the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act” signed into law last by the President on March 24, 2020.
Bayanihan to Heal as One Act is an act declaring the existence of a National emergency arising from the COVID 19 situation. It authorizes the President for a limited period and subject to restrictions, to exercise powers necessary to carry out the declared national policy and for other purposes.
Duterte emergency powers under the Bayanihan Law
Under the new law, President Duterte has special powers to address the COVID outbreak in the Philippines. These are some of the powers included:
- Adopt and implement measures to prevent further transmission and spread of COVID-19 through effective education, detection, protection, and treatment;
- Speed up the accreditation of testing kits and facilitate prompt testing by public and designated private institutions of PUIS and PUMS, and the compulsory and immediate isolation and treatment of patients: The cost of treatment for COVID-19 patients shall be covered under the National Health Insurance Program of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation;
- Provide an emergency subsidy to around eighteen (18) million low-income households: The subsidy shall amount to a minimum of Five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) to a maximum of Eight thousand pesos (P8,000.00) a month for two (2) months:
- Ensure that all public health workers are protected by providing them with a “COVID-19 special risk allowance”, in addition to the hazard pay granted under the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers or Republic Act No. 7305;
- Direct the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to shoulder all medical expenses of public and private health workers in case of exposure to COVID-19 or any work-related injury or disease during the duration of the emergency;
- Enforce measures against hoarding, price manipulation, combinations in restraint of trade or other pernicious practices, and ensure availability of essential goods such as food and medicine and adequate supply of power, fuel, energy, and water.
- Authorize alternative working arrangements for workers and regulate the operation of transportation.
To see the full text of the Bayanihan to heal as one, click here.
RA 11469 or the Bayanihan to heal as One Act shall be effective immediately upon its publication in the newspaper or the Official Gazette. It will be in effect for three months. The President is also mandated to submit a weekly report to Congress.