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Sunday, June 23, 2024

P59.89 b for COVID-19 relief released to health workers

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The administration has released P59.8 billion worth of allowance and compensation for eligible COVID-19 healthcare and non-healthcare workers, President Marcos said.

“In line with our promise, our administration has already distributed P59.8 billion or 78.92 percent of the COVID health emergency allowance to our heroic frontliners,” Mr. Marcos said in a Facebook post late Tuesday evening.

“On Health Workers’ Day, we really appreciate the sacrifices of our frontliners who serve with all their hearts and show the world the skill and compassion of Filipinos,” he added.

On Tuesday, healthcare workers from both public and private hospitals held a nationwide protest, calling for higher living wage and the release of their unpaid benefits.

The Health Workers United for Wage Increase (HWUWI) coalition said healthcare workers must have an entry-level salary of P33,000.

“Instead of celebrating, we are here on the street protesting because of the government’s continued negligence when it comes to health workers and people’s needs,” said HWUWI convenor Robert Mendoza.

St. Luke’s Medical Center Employees Association president Roldan Clumia said healthcare workers are still waiting for their “much deserved and long-overdue health emergency allowance.”

As this developed, the Department of Budget and Management said it is on track to finalize a comprehensive study on potential salary adjustments for government workers by mid-2024.

This initiative, spearheaded by the DBM and the Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG), aims to ensure a competitive and equitable compensation package that aligns with the administration’s commitment to a resilient and future-ready civil service.

“We recognize that the rising cost of the basic commodities and services in the country highlights the need to review the current state of compensation of government employees. It is for this reason that the DBM and the GCG engaged the services of a consultancy firm this year to conduct a Compensation and Benefits Study in the Public Sector with the end in view of setting a competitive, financially sustainable, and equitable compensation package for government personnel,” Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said.

“The proposed compensation adjustment should consider not only the inflation rates and cost of living adjustments, but also standard market practices to ensure that working in government remains desirable and comparable to working in the private sector. Further, the additional costs must be within the government’s financial capacity to ensure its long-term viability, which shall be maintained at a realistic level in proportion to the overall expenditure of the government,” she added.

She said the results of the study will serve as a basis for making the necessary changes in the Total Compensation Framework (TCF) of civilian government personnel to ensure fair and timely salary adjustment for government workers.

“Our civil servants are the backbone of our nation, and it’s our priority to provide them with a fair and motivating compensation system. This study marks a crucial step towards a civil service that is not only efficient and productive but also just and rewarding,” Pangandaman said.


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