Tondo Medical Center health workers protest budget cut, seek salary hike
MANILA, Philippines — Health workers from the Tondo Medical Center (TMC) on Friday protested the hospital’s budget cut and appealed for a salary increase.
The health workers call on lawmakers to restore the hospitals’ Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) of P274.4 million for 2021.
Ernesto Bulanadi, president of Tondo Medical Center Employees Association –Alliance of Health Workers (TMCEA-AHW), said reducing TMC’s MOOE would result in “patients losing or receiving fewer essential health services, or worst, none at all.”
“Even our contractual employees whose salaries mainly rely on our hospital’s MOOE will also be seriously affected,” Bulanadi noted.
Tondo Medical Center caters tertiary general health care services to millions of urban low-income families within its immediate catchment areas of Manila, Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, and Valenzuela.
“Cutting health budget in a time of pandemic is an inconsiderate thing to do and injustice,” Bulanadi stressed.
The TMC workers are appealing to increase the salaries of Salary Grade 1 (SG1) health workers to P16, 000 as an entry salary.
They also complained of not receiving their Performance-Based Bonus (PBB) for 2018 and 2019.
“Adding to our misery is the anti-health workers’ policy of the DOH (Department of Health) and Duterte government the ‘no-hazard-pay policy’ during our 14- day quarantine,” Bulanadi lamented.
“We call on the lawmakers to heed our calls and scrutinize the 2021 DOH proposed budget and ensure that the approved health budget is for the welfare of health workers and free health services for the Filipino people,” he concluded. [ac]
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