Employees from various Department of Health hospitals renewed Wednesday their demand for the ouster of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III over the gross neglect in upholding the people’s right to health and health workers’ benefits and welfare.
“It’s almost three months now since health workers set an ultimatum with the DOH and the Duterte administration to release the much deserved COVID-19 benefits of health workers. But until now, the DOH and this government failed to provide the COVID-19 benefits such as special risk allowance, active hazard duty pay, and meal, accommodation, and transportation benefits,” said Cristy Donguines, president of the Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center Employees Union-AHW.
She said health workers in DOH-retained hospitals only got 30 percent of the funds for their meal, accommodation, and transportation benefit for the period of September to December 2020. The remaining 70 percent were withheld by the DOH, Donguines said.
Likewise, she said many of their fellow health workers in DOH hospitals like RITM, and some private and local government unit-run hospitals did not receive their COVID-19 benefits.
“Stop fooling us, Secretary Duque. Where did the funds go? The fact is that we are still here on the street fighting for what is supposedly ours,” Donguines said.
Ernesto Bulanadi, president of the Tondo Medical Center Employees Association-AHW, said: “It is very frustrating that every year we repeatedly call the attention of the DOH to release our performance-based bonus.”
“It is more demoralizing that apart from the withheld, unpaid and long overdue benefits, the DOH and the Duterte government intentionally did not allot funds for COVID-19 benefits to all health workers for the year 2022.” Donguines said.
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