Malacañang assured health care workers that their other benefits mandated by law will be given to them but noted that the issue with their special risk allowance (SRA) was already a case closed.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after health workers staged a protest in front of the Department of Health (DOH) office in Manila over unreleased benefits due to medical frontliners during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In his press briefing on Wednesday, September 1, Roque acknowledged the right of the medical frontliners to stage a protest.
“Karapatan po ng lahat ng mamamayan na iparating ang kanilang damdamin. At siyempre po, ‘yan ay protektado ng Saligang Batas (It is the right of every Filipino to express their sentiments and that is protected by the Constitution),” he said.
He added that health workers will receive all the benefits due to them but the issue with the SRA has been resolved already following its release.
“Yung iba pang mga benepisyo naman po na nakasaad sa batas, lahat po ‘yan ay ibibigay. Pero ang issue rin po saan natin kukunin kung kukulang na ang pondo (The other benefits accorded to them by law, all of those will be given to them. But the issue us still where can we source the fund for this),” Roque said.
“Pero sa SRA po, tapos na po ‘yan (But the SRA, that’s resolved already),” he added.
The Palace official admitted that the release of the SRA of health workers faced some delays.
“Yung ating tinatawag na special risk allowance, ‘yan po ay nai-release na (The SRA has been released already),” he said.
“Nagkaroon po ng kaunting delay dahil nga po sa pagsusumite ng mga pangalan sa hanay ng mga pribadong ospital (There were just some delays due to the submission of names by the private hospitals),” he added.
Roque explained that the SRA granted by Congress to health workers, hindi lang po sa pang-gobyernong health workers.
Health workers have threatened to turn in their resignations if their benefits will not be given to them by September 1, 2021.