Look: Health workers hold online protest on Day of Valor | Inquirer News

Look: Health workers hold online protest on Day of Valor

/ 06:39 PM April 09, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — A group of health workers on Friday took to social media to air their grievances and protest the way the government has been handling the coronavirus pandemic.

The Alliance of Health Workers (AHW) shared on Facebook photos of healthcare workers holding signs of what needs to be done in the pandemic, such as the immediate release of their Special Risk Allowance (SRA), meals, transportation, and accommodation allowance under Bayanihan to Recover As One Law, and long-overdue benefits of Performance-Based Bonus from 2018 to 2020.

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AHW also demanded the mass hiring of regular health workers to handle COVID-19 patients.

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The protest coincided with the celebration of Araw ng Kagitingan or Day of Valor Friday, April 9.

Benjamin Santos, AHW Secretary General, said they wrote a letter on April 6 to DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III reiterating their demand to release their withheld benefits.

“Many of our colleagues died in the fight against COVID-19 without even getting those benefits. Those benefits are already funded and besides, it’s just a small thing compared to the sacrifices of health workers to address and fight this pandemic. This government is numb and heartless when it comes to our safety, protection, and welfare” he added

According to Mr. Edgardo Fernandez, President of the National Center for Mental Health Employees Association – Alliance of Health Workers, given that benefits are not provided they buy their own face masks and face shield because their hospital does not have any stocks

“Things are just getting worse because given that our benefits are not provided, we buy our own N95 Masks, surgical masks, and face shields just to protect ourselves from the deadly virus because our hospital does not have stocks,” he said

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He added that in a certain pavilion of the National Center for Mental Health, 1 nurse handles 250 mental patients. He stressed that health personnel is exhausted and tired.

Meanwhile, AHW national president Robert Mendoza honored healthcare workers on Day of Valor

“Today, we offer our highest respects and salutes to our fellow health workers who are continuously serving the people with the highest degree of responsibility, efficiency and wholeheartedly. Likewise, we honor our comrades who died in the line of duty. We appreciate compliments and honors that we are being called as modern heroes, but what we need right now is support and protection from our government to ensure our safety, health, and welfare,” he said.

He added that the AHW is committed to continuing the fight of health workers for their protection, safety, and welfare.

“This significant day has inspired us to bravely reiterate our urgent demands and calls for the immediate release of the withheld and unpaid benefits that is due for us,” he said

“We also reaffirm our resolve and dare to fight for the mass hiring of regular health workers who shall carry the task of handling COVID-19 patients,” he concluded.

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