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10 private hospitals to conduct mass walkout over delayed benefits

/ 10:30 AM August 30, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Health workers in 10 private hospitals will hold a mass walkout on National Heroes’ Day to protest the government’s delay in releasing their benefits.

“Alas-9 ngayong umaga ay magkakasa ng protesta ang ating pamunuan sa harap po ng St. Luke’s. Alas-12 po, susunod po diyan ang UST… Alas-dos po ‘yung Lourdes Hospital. Tapos sunod-sunod na rin po ‘yung ibang hospital unions po,” Jao Clumia, St. Luke’s Medical Center Employees Association – Quezon City president, told the ANC in an interview on Monday.

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(This 9 a.m., a protest will be held in front of St. Lukes. By 12 p.m., the UST (University of Santo Tomas) will be next… By 2 p.m., Lourdes Hospital. Then, hospital unions will follow suit.)

Dubbed as modern-day heroes, the health workers will walk out for one hour to avoid disruptions in hospital operations.

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Eighty medical personnel in st. Luke’s Quezon City will participate in the move, Clumia shared.

The private hospitals are protesting the government’s delay in providing their benefits such as the special risk allowance (SRA) and the meal, accommodation, and transportation (MAT) allowance.

“Ito rin ang hinihiling natin kasi tuloy-tuloy ang pandemya, dapat tuloy-tuloy pa rin ang pagbibigay ng ating benepisyo,” Clumia noted.

(This is what we wish for. The pandemic continues so our benefits should be provided continuously as well.)

Under the Bayanihan 2 law, only health workers who are in direct contact with a COVID-19 patient are eligible for the benefit.

However, Alliance of Health Workers (AHW) National President Robert Mendoza explained that the SRA could be given even to non-COVID health workers as long as it could be justified by the management.

“Ang aming mga affiliated unions, karamihan sa aming mga director… dineklara nila na high risk ang hospital kaya lahat ay nakatanggap. Bihira lang po ang hospital ang ‘di nakatanggap ang lahat ng health workers,” Mendoza expounded.

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(Our affiliated unions, most of our directors… declared their hospitals as high risk; that’s why all of them received [the benefit]. Only a few hospitals have health workers who did not receive the benefit.)

Clumia added that there is no hospital that is not high risk, now that the country has been logging more than 10,000 COVID-19 cases daily.

Mendoza further stressed that the SRA, worth P227 per day, is only provided to health workers under enhanced community quarantine or modified enhanced community quarantine.

“Nakakatawa po itong batas na ‘to kasi hindi naman humihinto ang COVID,” Mendoza emphasized.

(The law is absurd because COVID does not stop [despite the community quarantine status].)

The AHW is set to hold a protest before the DOH on September 1.

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TAGS: Alliance of Health Workers, benefits, health workers, Jao Clumia, Robert Mendoza, SRA, St. Lukes
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