Alliance of Health Workers sends letter requesting dialogue with Duterte
MANILA, Philippines — The Alliance of Health Workers (AHW), whose members are at the forefront of the country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, have requested a dialogue with President Rodrigo Duterte, in an attempt to air their grievances about worsening working conditions.
According to a statement posted on Facebook on Tuesday, the AHW said its members and several of its unions and affiliated chapters have signed a letter seeking a talk with the president on Friday, April 16.
The AHW formalized its request in a letter sent to the Office of the President earlier, where it mentioned low wages in contrast to the extremely difficult conditions that its members had to face — despite being heralded as modern-day heroes.
“[The requested meeting is intended] to discuss the deplorable condition of health workers, withheld and unreleased benefits under Bayanihan Law 2 like meals, transportation and accommodation allowance, Special Risk Allowance and the overdue Performance Based Bonus of 2018, 2019 and 2020, and mass hiring of regular health workers to handle COVID-19 patients,” the AHW statement said.
UPDATE: Earlier, the Alliance of Health Workers unions and chapters from different public hospitals sent a letter to…
The AHW explained that it made the request in response to the pronouncement from Malacañang that the administration would be willing to talk to medical frontliners complaining about dire situations in their workplaces.
Aside from the technical issues mentioned earlier, like low wages and unreleased benefits, health workers — especially those from Metro Manila and nearby provinces — health workers have been overwhelmed by the surge in COVID-19 cases.
As of Tuesday, the number of active COVID-19 cases nationwide zoomed to 165,534 after the Department of Health (DOH) tallied 8,571 new cases.
The COVID-19 bulletin released earlier on Tuesday also showed 137 new deaths due to the disease, bringing the death toll to 15,286.
In terms of COVID-19 bed capacity in Metro Manila, 85% of intensive care unit beds have been utilized while 70% of isolation beds are occupied.
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