'Meager, divisive, unfair': Why nurses' group rejects 'singular allowance' proposal


Posted at Sep 28 2021 10:57 AM

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MANILA—A group of nurses rejected Tuesday the Department of Health's proposal for a "singular allowance" as it would reduce their current monetary benefits.

Speaking to Teleradyo, Filipino Nurses United president Maristela Abenojar called the proposal "meager, divisive and unfair."

"Parang ginawa po talaga nila na binarat ang mga health workers. Nakakagalit na po kasi delayed-delayed sila magbigay noon sa Bayanihan 1 at Bayanihan 2 at hanggang ngayon hindi pa ho lahat nakakatanggap tapos ito na naman po," she said.

(It seems they are shortchanging the health workers. It's already irksome because they were already delayed in giving [the benefits] during the Bayanihan 1 and 2 and until now not everyone has received it and this comes.)

The DOH is proposing monthly allocations of P3,000 to health workers with low exposure or those assigned to areas without patients; P6,000 on medium exposure or those handling non-COVID-19 patients; and P9,000 on high exposure or directly caring COVID-19 patients.

The FNU says the so-called singular allowance would remove health workers’ active hazard duty pay worth P3,000, special risk allowance worth P5,000, and meal, accommodation, and transportation benefits worth P8,000.

Abenojar said health workers were being treated as "sacrificial lambs" as the government had little regard to their lives and sacrifice.

The FNU also slammed as unacceptable the DOH's proposal to categorize the risk exposure of health workers.

"Wala na ho tayong masasabing clean area kasi ang buong ospital po talaga ay exposed sa airborne na COVID-19 virus," she said.

(We couldn't anymore say there's a clean area because the whole hospital is exposed to the airborne COVID-19 virus.)