PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte on Monday issued an administrative order giving a special risk allowance to health workers handling coronavirus patients.

The President ordered public and private sectors employing health workers directly catering to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients to pay a special risk allowance worth  as much as P5,000 a month.

Mr. Duterte also signed a separate order giving frontline medical workers an additional monthly pay of as much as P3,000 on top of their hazard pay and similar benefits. The funding under both orders will come from the P13.5 billion allotted by the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act.

Meanwhile, the Trade department has allotted P100 million in loans to help small businesses affected by Typhoon Vamco, locally named Ulysses.

The agency will distribute both the loans and a P10-million livelihood support grant to micro and small enterprises (MSEs), Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez told the ABS-CBN News Channel on Monday.

He said funds for pandemic-hit businesses were being extended to small companies affected by the typhoon.

Under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, the Small Business Corp. has P10 billion to expand its COVID-19 loan program for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

The Trade department would continue to monitor the implementation of a price freeze on basic goods and necessities in areas placed under a state of calamity, Mr. Lopez added. “We’ve been doing that for the past three weeks.”

The most recent typhoon battered parts of Luzon after first making landfall in Quezon province on Nov. 11. Before this, two other typhoons hit Southern Luzon, especially the Bicol region. — Gillian M. Cortez and JPI