The Department of Health (DOH) requested health workers not to push through with their planned mass protest as it will only place the health system in the country at risk and will endanger the wellbeing of patients. 

The health department’s appeal came after the Alliance of Health Workers (AHW) threatened to initiate mass protests in the country if the DOH fails to give all the benefits and compensation promised to medical frontliners by August 31. 

“Kami po ay nakikiusap sa ating mga healthcare workers because ito po ay makakaapekto nang maigi sa operations ng ating mga ospital at nakikita naman natin ang kalagayan ng ating mga ospital sa ngayon,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a virtual briefing.

“Sana ang ganitong klaseng mga pagkilos ay maiwasan natin at bigyang daan natin ang ating pagmamalasakit sa ating mga pasyente,” she said.

National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19 special adviser Dr. Ted Herbosa revealed that the DOH can now release the special risk allowance (SRA) of health workers to hospitals. 

Herbosa explained that funds will be given to hospitals which can share a list of SRA recipients.  

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said on Wednesday that it has already released P311.79 million for the long overdue SRAs of health workers.

Meanwhile, AHW president Robert Mendoza aired his disappointment that the DOH failed to release the P38,000 worth of meal and transportation allowance from December 2020 to June 2021, including the P3,000 monthly active duty hazard pay.

Because of this, the AHQ changed its mind and gave the government until Friday, instead of August 31, to give their benefits or the original mass protest will push through. 

“Ginagawa ng DOH ang ating lahat nang makakaya para mabigay natin ang mga kahilingan at mga benepisyo ng ating mga health care workers,” Vergeire said. Ronald Espartinez