Some health workers got incomplete allowances, some got nothing at all — AHW
MANILA, Philippines — Some health workers got incomplete COVID-19 allowances and some got nothing at all, members of the Alliance of Health Workers (AHW) claimed at a protest they staged at the Department of Health (DOH) office in Manila on Wednesday.
According to the workers, who are employed in various hospitals, it has been almost three months now since they set an ultimatum for the DOH to release their COVID-19 benefits.
The AHW set the deadline for the government on Aug. 31.
Cristy Donguines, president of Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center Employees Union-AHW, gave some details on the workers’ claim in a statement.
“It will be remembered that we health workers in DOH-retained hospitals only got 30% of the funds from the DOH for our meal, accommodation and transportation benefit for the period of September to December 2020. “The remaining 70% were withheld by the DOH,” Donguines said.
“Likewise, many of my fellow health workers in the DOH hospitals like RITM, and some private and LGU hospitals did not receive their COVID-19 benefits,” she went on.
“DOH kept on spreading lies that they already released the said benefits. Stop fooling us [Health] Secretary [Francisco] Duque [III]. Where did the fund go? The fact that we are still here on the street fighting for what is supposedly ours. We challenge Secretary Duque and its officials to provide us the list of all health workers who have already been granted these benefits,” she added.
INQUIRER.net reached Duque for comment, but he has not responded as of this posting.
The AHW members made follow demands on the DOH:
- release the special risk allowance (SRA) to all health workers, both from public and private hospitals, regardless of their status of employment — permanent, contractual, job order and contract of service, or agency-hired
- Release of the 70% budget covering the period from September to December 2020 intended for meals, accommodation, and transportation (MAT) benefits that was withheld by the DOH from its retained hospitals
- release the MAT benefits covering the period from January to June 2021 to all workers of the DOH and government-owned or controlled corporations
- release the MAT benefits covering the period from September to June 2021 to health workers in local government units and private health facilities
- release the active-duty hazard pay covering the period from January to June 2021 to all public health workers