Health workers won't stop protests until they receive benefits: group

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 31 2021 08:31 AM

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MANILA - Health workers will continue to protest until they receive their benefits, a group said Tuesday.

Medical frontliners on Monday walked out of their hospitals to protest the delay in the payment of their benefits such as the special risk allowance, hazard pay, and meals, accommodation and transportation allowance.

A mass protest before the Department of Health central office is expected on Wednesday, a day after health workers' deadline to government.

Among those expected to join is the St. Luke's Medical Center Employees' Association, said its president Jao Clumia.

Only 1,194 out of some 3,000 health workers of St. Luke's hospital in Quezon City have received their SRA, he said.

"Di po kami titigil hanggat di namin makukuha ang aming kahilingan," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

(We won't stop until we receive our wishes.)

DOH spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire said only those who directly care for virus patients would receive benefits and that the agency would continue to receive applications for SRA.

The list would be submitted to the Department of Budget and Management, which will then release the funds, she added.

"Sana po makapagpasensya nang kaunti at mahintay itong irerelease nating pondo," she told Teleradyo in a separate interview.

(We hope they would be patient and wait for the release of funds.) 

The DOH has come under fire for allegedly mishandling some P67 billion of its pandemic funds, of which P11 billion were unobligated while health workers did not receive their benefits.