MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday urged health workers to file a complaint at their office if they are not paid their wages or their benefits are not released.
The DOH said saying these were matters that must be dealt with seriously.
The announcement came after medical workers expressed frustration over delays receiving their hazard pay, while others reported they haven’t been paid in months.
“We are taking the issue of delayed benefits very seriously. When matters like this come to our attention, we conduct thorough investigations and concerned offices are made to answer to the Secretary and develop solutions,” the health department said in a statement.
Health workers should write a complaint to the department’s Complaints Handling Unit and send it to email@example.com.
The complaint should include the name of the health facility, the incident, and evidence, the DOH said.
According to the statement, the health department has “sub-allotted” P51.9 million under Bayanihan 1 for the active hazard duty pay and special risk allowances of 17 DOH-retained hospitals, or hospitals directly under the agency, that “requested additional funding.”
The active hazard duty pay and special risk allowances for Bayanihan 2, meanwhile, were allotted through Administrative Orders 35 and 36 issued by the Office of the President last Nov. 16, the DOH added.
The statement said the DOH and the Department of Budget and Management issued Joint Circulars 1 and 2 on Wednesday, Nov. 25., earmarking P9.2 billion under Bayanihan 2 for DOH-retained hospitals, Centers for Health Developments, and the Ministry of Health of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
This budget covered the period of September to December, which “has already been released this week,” it added.
“We cannot take their welfare out of the equation in realizing the goals of a Universal Health Care system, especially in the midst of a national state of public health emergency where they are most needed,” the DOH said.
“We are taking this matter very seriously and we welcome any feedback to introduce changes on how we deliver our services.”
Health Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire last week said the agency is investigating the situation of nurses in Sorsogon after Gov. Francis “Chiz” Escudero complained they have not received their salaries.
Earlier this week, Malacañang urged the DOH to fast-track releasing the hazard pay of medical frontliners, warning that health officials risk suspension if they fail to do so.
Nearly 30,000 health care workers have yet to receive several months of salary, hazard pay and special risk allowance, Maristela Abenojar, national president of Filipino Nurses United, said this week.
WATCH: PH Nurses Group urges DOH to pay long-delayed hazard benefits of some 17,000 health workers | ANC