Health workers from the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) renewed their call for the immediate release of their coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) hazard pay and Special Risk Allowance (SRA) in a Black Friday protest in front of the PGH Oblation Plaza.
This after the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) supposedly disapproved the hospital’s request for additional funds to cover the allowances and dues of over 4,000 health workers.
“Nakakalungkot na sa kabila ng pagmamalaki ni Pangulong Duterte sa pagkalinga nito sa mga frontliners tulad ng mga health workers ay na-fake news na naman tayo dahil hindi pinal nang pinagbigyan ng DBM ang kahilingan ng PGH na mag-release ng pondo para sa COVID-19 Hazard Pay at SRA ng mga manggagawang pangkalusugan ng PGH (It is saddening because despite President Duterte boasting of his care for frontliners like health workers, we suffered from fake news again because the DBM did not give its final approval to PGH’s appeal to release funds for the COVID-19 hazard pay and SRA of the PGH health workers),” said the All University of the Philippines Workers Union in a statement issued Thursday night.
On November 20, some PGH health workers staged a protest action at the hospital atrium to demand for the release of their COVID-19 hazard pay and SRA that have been delayed for six months.
The P500 per day COVID-19 hazard pay and SRA were both granted by Malacañang through administrative orders earlier this year.
A few days after the protest, PGH Director Gerardo Legaspi wrote to the hospital workers, saying that the delay in the release of the COVID-19 benefits was because they have already spent their funds on the patients and infrastructure.
He also said that they have yet to get a reimbursement from PhilHealth and that the DBM handed its final decision on its disapproval to grant the PGH additional funds on November 19.