The Anakpawis Party-list on Maundy Thursday expressed full support to the pandemic frontliner health workers’ demands after the Alliance of Health Workers (AHW) exposed the continuing cases of neglect of the Duterte administration.
The group protested that due benefits and allowances under the Republic Act. No. 11469, or the “Bayanihan to Heal as One” Act, are yet to be received by health workers who at present are working tirelessly to respond to surging cases of COVID-19 in various hospitals.
The law alloted P13.5 billion for health-related responses.
“The abandonment of frontliner health workers by the Duterte regime, is the undisputed proof of its ‘criminal negligence and insincerity’ to resolve the pandemic crisis. While the whole population is unanimous in supporting the health workers, the ‘#DutertePalpak syndicate’ acts on the contrary, thus, it should be seriously held accountable,” Ariel Casilao, Anakpawis Party-list national president and former representative. said in a press statement.
AHW cited that Special Risk Allowances (SRA) are yet to be distributed to health workers of the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, Philippine General Hospital, Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center, National Center for Mental Health and other health-related government-owned and controlled corporations. Moreover, at the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital, health workers who are in quarantine suffer inadequate meals, inadequate beds with some using cardboxes as mattresses.
“At this point, they are still screaming for the provision of adequate and quality protective gear, strengthening of infection control measures, strict implementation of the 14-day quarantine protocol, and free and decent accomodation and isolation facilities,” Casilao added.
AHW is demanding the: mass hiring of regular health workers, regularization of health workers; increase of Salary Grade 1 to P16,000, allowances for meals, transportation and accomodation, the P500 daily SRA, active hazard duty pay, P50,000 compensation to those contracted COVID-19 with mild symptoms, P100,000 to those with severe, and P1 million to the bereaved of health worker martyrs who died in the line of duty, and P1 million indemnification to those would suffer adverse side effects or death from the vaccination.
“We fully support the struggle of Filipino health workers for the basic rights to safety and protection, living wages and indemnification. Unless the majority of the people firmly demands his resignation, the whole country would remain in public health misery,” he added.