MANILA - Some Filipino health care workers have yet to receive their hazard pay and other benefits for battling COVID-19 in the frontlines, a group of nurses said Thursday.
The Department of Health had in December extended the deadline set for health workers applying for COVID-19 hazard pay. Some medical frontliners only received their benefits on January 29, said Maristela Abenojar, national president of Filipino Nurses United.
Some 16,467 health workers have yet to receive their benefits as of November, Abenojar said, citing data from the DOH during a Senate hearing.
"Out of 16,000 plus, ilan na ang aktuwal na nabigyan? Until today meron kaming natatanggap na reports mula sa iba't ibang ospital na nagsasabing wala pa 'yung kanilang active hazard duty pay despite the fact na na-submit na nila 'yung requirements, lalo na ito sa private," she told ANC's Headstart.
(Out of 16,000 plus, how many have actually received their benefits? Until today we receive reports from different hospitals that they have yet to receive their active hazard duty pay despite their submission of requirements, especially private hospitals.)
Some health workers who contracted COVID-19 also find it difficult to get compensation from government, she added.
The group urged government to ensure the protection of nurses here and abroad after the Philippines offered the deployment of more nurses to the UK and Germany in exchange for COVID-19 vaccines.
"Sana tiyakin nga talaga na merong ample protection ang ating health care workers bago sila payagan lumabas ng bansa," she said.
(We hope they will really ensure our health care workers have ample protection before they leave the country.)
"'Wag din kalimutan na very basic ang economic burden ng ating health care workers at tugunan po sana ang backlog na sahod at benefits. This will really encourage them to stay in the service."
(And that they do not forget the economic burden of our health care workers and address the backlog in the release of their salary and benefits.)