Alliance of Health Workers rejects allowance system proposed by DOH
MANILA, Philippines — The Alliance of Health Workers vehemently rejected on Monday the proposal of the Department of Health’s (DOH) to give health workers a single type of risk allowance with an amount ranging from P3,000 to P9,000 depending on the level of their exposure to COVID-19.
The proposed allowance would remove health workers’ special risk allowance (SRA), active hazard duty pay (ADHP), and meal, accommodation, and transportation (MAT) benefits, according to Robert Mendoza, the national president of the Alliance of Health Workers (AHW), as quoted in a statement issued on Monday.
Under the proposal, health workers will get an allowance according to the following classification:
- low risk – P3,000
- medium risk – P6,000
- high risk – P9,000
“This scheme is indeed divisive and discriminating,” Mendoza said.
“[In] the DOH’s proposal, only one type of benefit will be provided to health workers. And it will be given in different categories, different amounts, and worse not all health workers will be given the said benefits,” he added.
The AHW also took exception to the proposed classification of exposure levels into low, medium, and high.
“The DOH’s proposal to categorize the risk exposure of the health workers in hospitals and health facilities is completely unacceptable because the virulent virus can infect anyone,” said Mendoza.
“Our data showed many health workers assigned in non-COVID areas are getting infected due to lack of protection. So everyone in the vicinity of the hospital and health facility are all considered high risk to COVID-19. Thus, all health workers must receive equal COVID-19 benefits,” he added.
The DOH also listed only 526,727 out of 1.8 million health workers nationwide as its target recipients of the allowance, according to the alliance.
“The DOH divided, deprived, and lowered our morale and dignity. The proposal laid out at the Senate hearing was a manifestation of Secretary [Francisco] Duque’s indifference to health workers safety, protection and welfare, and inhumane leadership,” Mendoza lamented.
The alliance then reiterated its demand for a monthly fixed SRA of P5,000 for all public and private health workers, regardless of employment status, as well as an AHDP of P3,000 and a monthly MAT allowance of P38,000.
It also demanded a COVID-19 compensation amounting to P15,000 for mild and moderate cases, P100,000 for severe cases, P1 million for death compensation, and ensure the continued provision of these benefits as long as the declaration of a state of national emergency or pandemic remains in full force.
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