Invest in more competent salary, benefits for health workers
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Risa Hontiveros urged the government Tuesday to invest in more competent salaries and benefits for health workers to encourage them to work locally.
Hontiveros made the call as she welcomed President Rodrigo Duterte’s lifting of the controversial deployment ban on medical employees. Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello earlier said that the President only allowed 5,000 health workers a year to leave the country.
“In order to strengthen our country’s response against COVID-19 and encourage our health workers to work locally, the government must invest and allot its resources to provide a more competent salary and benefits package to ensure that their welfare is being taken cared of,” Hontiveros said in a statement.
“Our health workers deserve better,” she added.
Hontiveros said that while she welcomes the lifting of the deployment ban, better conditions should be provided for health workers in the country.
“Hindi makatarungan na may nasa 16,000 health workers sa ilalim ng emergency hiring program ng Department of Health (DOH) ang hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa rin nababayaran ng kanilang karampatang hazard pay at special risk allowance,” Hontiveros said.
“Sa kabilang banda, naglagay ng cap kung saan 5,000 health workers lang ang pwedeng mangibang-bansa. Dapat siguraduhin munang natutupad ang mga ipinangako sa health workers bago maglagay ng ano mang limitasyon o restriksyon,” she added.
In August, the government said only those with travel documents before March 8 are allowed to work overseas.
It was in April when the national government first banned healthcare workers from leaving the country to help in the fight against the coronavirus disease.
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