Marcos urged: Release health workers' allowance first before pay hike

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 02 2022 09:27 AM

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MANILA – Government should first work on releasing the benefits of health care workers before increasing their salaries, a group said Friday.

Alliance of Health Workers president Robert Mendoza made this statement when asked about President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s statement that his administration will address the salary disparity between nurses in private and public hospitals.

“Sa kasalukuyan po kasi, dapat resolbahin muna yung mga nakabinbin na mga benepisyo kagaya ng One COVID Allowance (OCA) tsaka Health Emergency Allowance na inaantay ito ng ating mga health workers mula pa last year,” Mendoza said.

(At present, they should solve the problem with the release of benefits like the One COVID Allowance and the Health Emergency Allowance, which health workers have been waiting for since last year.)

Almost 60 percent of health workers have yet to receive their OCA and other benefits they are entitled to, Mendoza said, noting that the health and budget departments continue to point fingers over the release of funds. 

“Kasi nung August 31 nagsasaad na ang Department of Health na nakikipag-negotiate pa raw sila sa (Department of Budget and Management) regarding dito sa pag-release ng nirequest nilang P63 billion.”

“Pero kahapon naglabas din ang DBM, ang sabi nila ang DOH ang may kasalanan nito dahil maraming beses nang sinulatan sila na magsubmit na ng mga required documents pero hanggang sa kasalukuyan ay hindi pa rin ito nagagawa ng Department of Health, kaya hindi rin sila nagre-release.”

(On August 31 Department of Health said they are still negotiating with the Department of Budget and Management regarding the release of the P63 billion they requested. But yesterday the DBM said the DOH is at fault because they have been telling them to submit the required documents, but the DOH hasn't been doing this, so they can't release the fund.)

He stressed, however, that it’s about time that government consider doubling the salaries of nurses and other healthcare workers.

“Kung nagawa ni President Duterte sa panahon niya na doblehin ang sahod ng kapulisan, kasundaluhan, Armed Forces of the Philippines, sana panahon na para doblehin na rin ang sahod ng ating mga health workers para naman hindi na mangibang bansa ang ating mga health workers, ang ating mga nurses.”

(If President Duterte doubled the salaries of policemen and soldiers during this term, maybe governmet can now double the salaries of health workers so they don't need to go abroad.)

Mendoza noted that nurses and other health workers need a living wage.

“Kasi alam po natin na ang ating gobyerno ay nagtalaga siya ng isang ahensya dati, ng National Wage & Productivity Commission at nagtigil yung kanyang pagbibigay ng family living wage.”

“Nung 2008 ay P707 ang kanyang binigay pero hanggang sa kasalukuyan ay hindi po ito nagbibigay ng kung magkano ba talaga ang dapat family living wage pang-araw-araw para mabuhay nang maayos yung ating mga manggagawa,” he added.

(The National Wage and Productivity Commission is supposed to indicate a living wage, In 2008 they said its P707 but it hasn't given an updated number.)

--TeleRadyo, 2 September 2022