Group ‘disappointed’ in bill on frontliners’ benefits | Inquirer News

Alliance of Health Workers ‘disappointed’ in bill on frontliners’ benefits

By: - Reporter / @zacariansINQ
/ 02:50 AM February 03, 2022
Photo for story on bill on frontliners’ benefits

Members of the Alliance of Health Workers in a protest in September 2021. (Photo from its Facebook account)

MANILA, Philippines — The Alliance of Health Workers (AHW) is “disappointed” in a Senate bill on COVID-19 frontliners’ benefits that aims to grant monthly allowances depending on their risk classification.

The AHW singled out Section 5 of  Senate Bill No. 2421 – or the proposed “Grant of COVID-19 Risk Allowance, Compensation Package and Other Benefits”  —  on the classification of health workers depending on their risk exposure.

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“This bill is no different from the DOH One COVID-19 Allowance,” said the group in a statement, referring to the Department of Health.

“The risk exposure classification is divisive, unfairly treats, and discriminates against the health workers thereby abandoning everyone’s value and safety,” it added.

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The AHW said nobody could avoid the COVID-19 coronavirus because being airborne it could be present in all areas of hospitals and other health facilities.

“In waging the war against COVID-19, there is no moderate and low risk as every health worker’s life matters,” it added.

According to the AHW, the bill will completely abolish the COVID-19 benefits of health workers — like the special risk allowance (SRA); active hazard duty pay (AHDP); and the meal, accommodation, and transportation (MAT) allowance.

“These benefits are of great importance and help to all health workers as their salaries are insufficient to meet the basic needs especially now that prices of commodities and transportation are soaring,” the group said.

The group also objects to the provision that requires a health worker to report for at least 96 hours before being granted the benefit, which excludes healthcare workers who were quarantined and in isolation due to COVID-19 exposure.

“AHW demanded that quarantined and in-isolation health workers should also receive their benefits in full and should not be discriminated [against],” the group said.

Senate, which approved the bill on Monday, will applies retroactively from July 1 onward and will remain in effect for the duration of the national public health emergency.

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Senate approves bill granting benefits to COVID-19 frontliners

Senate panel adds P51B to proposed 2022 budget for frontliners’ benefits

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For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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TAGS: Alliance of Health Workers, benefits, COVID-19, healthcare workers, Senate
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