Leaders from private hospital unions on Monday, Aug. 23, harbored doubts about President Duterte’s decision to order the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and Department of Health (DOH) to give health workers the benefits under Bayanihan 2 within 10 days.
In a statement, Jao Clumia, President of the St. Luke’s Medical Center Employees Association – QC (SLMCEA-QC) said all health workers, regardless of employment status positions, are all entitled to benefits.
“Bago po tayo maglulundag sa tuwa sa pangyayaring ito ay kailangan muna nating tiyakin na ang kautusan ng pangulo ay hindi dapat magsilbing malamig na tubig na ipinambuhos sa ngitngit ng mga manggagawang pangkalusugan kung di isang kongkretong aksyon bilang tugon sa aming inihapag na kahilingan (Before we jump for joy, we need to make sure first that the Presiden’t order should not serve as cold water poured on the resentment of health workers but a concrete response to our requests),” Clumia said.
“Noon pa kami nagbabala sa gobyerno tungkol sa pagtiyak na ang mga manggagawa ay hindi lamang bilang kapital sa pagpasa ng batas kung di mga benepisyaryo dapat ng mga probisyong nakasulat dito (We have always warned the government about ensuring that health workers are not only capital in passing the law but should be beneficiaries of the provisions written there),” Don Siazon, president of the University of Santo Tomas Hospital Union, added.
For the health workers, the fight is not yet over until all health workers receive their benefits, such as special risk allowance (SRA), life insurance, meal, accommodation, and transportation allowances.
On Saturday, Aug. 21, President Duterte gave the DOH and DBM 10 days to settle the benefits of health workers.
This, after various health workers from private and public hospitals considered staging a mass protest of DOH’s failure to release their benefits.