Healthcare workers to receive benefits soon, DOH assures

Published June 22, 2021, 4:09 PM

by Analou de Vera

The Department of Health (DOH) assured the country’s healthcare workers that they will soon receive their allowances for their meals, accommodation, and transportation.


“The Secretary of Health is all out to support kasi alam naman natin na sila ang lifelines, frontliners at dapat hindi natin pinababayaan sila (The Secretary of Health is all out to support because we know that they are the lifelines, frontliners and we must not neglect them),” said DOH Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje in a public press briefing on Tuesday, June 22.

“Tinutugunan na po ng ating admin and finance groups sa pangunguna ni Undersecretary (Leopoldo) Vega yung mga hinaing nila (Our admin and finance groups, led by Undersecretary Vega, are already addressing their grievances),” she added.

On June 19, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that medical frontliners will receive some of their benefits in cash after their allowance for meals, accommodation, and transportation were “repurposed.”

“Konting patience lang po (Just a little more patience). We are trying to find funds and we are going to give this to all of you,” she then said.

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Meanwhile, the Alliance of Health Workers (AHW) on Tuesday has appealed to the DOH to immediately release their benefits.

“We urge the DOH to immediately release our benefits before the extension of Bayanihan Law 2 ends. We will not stop and never get tired of fighting until we get the living wage, just benefits, rights and welfare we deserve,” said AHW National President Robert Mendoza.

The group also slammed the DOH on its supposed “insincerity and negligence” regarding the matter, saying that “these benefits are in recognition of the health workers’ contribution in the mitigation of COVID-19 pandemic.”

“We are angry and frustrated with the DOH, the agency that is supposed to oversee the health workers’ welfare? Obviously, the DOH has no intention of giving our hard earned benefits,” said Cristy Donguines, president of Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center Employees Union-Alliance of Health Workers (JRRMMCEU-AHW).

The group reiterated that healthcare workers are the country’s first line of defense against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are at the frontline in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic and our health and lives and the health of our families are at stake. We are working 12 hours per shift and (are) overloaded with patients,” said Ernesto Bulanadi, president of Tondo Medical Center Employees Association-Alliance of Health Workers (TMCEA-AHW).

“Those benefits are token for the risk and sacrifices that we face every day but until now, the DOH has not taken action regarding our welfare,” he added.