The Alliance of Health Workers (AHW) on Monday, Sept. 27, welcomed Senate Bills that seek to expand pandemic benefits to all health workers.
In a statement, AHW National President Robert Mendoza hailed the introduction of Senate Bill No. 2371 or COVID-19 Benefits for Health Workers Act of 2021 and Senate Bill 2398 or Allowances and Benefits for Healthcare Workers Act of 2021.
Under the bill, medical health workers include doctors, nurses, nursing assistants, medical technicians, midwives, radiology technicians, pharmacists, and caregivers. Non-medical healthcare workers, meanwhile, are those who work in private and public health institutions such as barangay health workers, admin staff, utility workers, social workers, dietary staff, security guards, drivers, and hospital employees.
Mendoza said the crafting the two bills was directly inspired by the health workers’ unity and strength “as they persistently struggle for their rights, safety, protection, and welfare.”
“AHW commends the senators for hearing the just demands of all private and public health workers who have risked their health and safety in battling COVID-19, a deadly unseen virus. These bills are indeed a product of the health workers’ determined and committed fight during this time of pandemic,” Mendoza added.
AHW also called on the senators to review and prioritize the appropriation of about P2 trillion for health in the 2022 budget to address the problem of understaffing in public hospitals, the provision of quality comprehensive healthcare, and effective COVID-19 response.
“With the prioritization of health in the budget for 2022, the eventual collapse of our healthcare system will be prevented,” Mendoza said.