Usec. Rosario Vergeire
By Brenda del Rosario
MANILA — Department of Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire announced in a press briefing that they have already ordered the regional director to investigate a report of delayed payment to health workers.
“Ayaw namin na nagkakaroon ng disadvantaged situations ang aming health care workers at this time of the pandemic because we know that they are working hard and that they deserve their salary,” Vergeire said.
This announcement came after Sorsogon Governor Chiz Escudero took to Twitter on Thursday saying only two of the 11 nurses sent by the DOH to augment their COVID-19 response “only got a salary for two” of the 5 months they worked.
Escudero added that none of the nurses received any benefits, and the working conditions are too much to bear that only one of the 11 nurses remained with them.
Yesterday, some health workers from different hospitals assembled to express their sentiments due to delayed salaries, demotion and non-payment of benefits for Covid-19 frontline workers, and others.
“Anong nangyari sa press release ninyo, wala man lang kayong malasakit” lamented of some nurses who joined the protest. They said that some nurses experienced a two to three months delay of salary.
Those who came from Philippine General Hospital (PGH) raised the issue of delayed of hazard pay and special risk allowance.
President Rodrigo Duterte signed recently Administrative No. 35: AUTHORIZING THE GRANT OF ACTIVE HAZARD DUTY PAY TO HUMAN RESOURCES FOR HEALTH SERVING IN THE FRONTLINES DURING THE STATE OF NATIONAL EMERGENCY.
Meanwhile Senator Joel Villanueva said that DOH’s emergency hiring program offers terms that are worse than “endo” and unreasonable as the pandemic is anticipated to last until next year.
Villanueva reiterated that DOH should offer better contract terms such as extending the duration to a year, as the President placed the country under a State of Calamity due to the pandemic until September 2021.
The senator was reacting to Escudero’s post lamenting the plight of 11 nurses the DOH deployed to the province to augment their pandemic response.
Villanueva then urged other provincial governors to come out in the open and share their experience for the benefit of healthcare workers. (AI/MTVN)