Eleazar urges gov’t to release wages, benefits of frontline workers

Eleazar urges gov’t to release wages, benefits of frontline workers

By Tracy Cabrera

File photo of protesters carrying placards during the commemoration of International Human Rights Day. (Photo: LiCAS News)

MANILA — Noting the heroic sacrifices made by our medical and health care workers as well as other frontline personnel, especially during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, senatorial aspirant Guillermo Lorenzo Tolentino Eleazar said he is one with them in their cry to assert their rights even as a number of line agencies of government have continued to fail in releasing the moneys to cover their wages and benefits.

In conjunction with the commemoration of International Human Rights Day celebrated yesterday, hundreds of frontline workers and personnel in Metro Manila staged a protest action to assert their right to a living wage, just benefits, security of tenure, humane and safe working conditions, all of which are under threat because of serious lapses and inconsistencies in their release and delivery.

To this Eleazar expressed personal empathy as he had himself witnessed the difficulties and hardships encountered by the rank and file of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in fulfilling their mandate to enforce and maintain peace and order while under exposure to the elements and threat of infection from Covid-19.

“Alam naman natin ang sakripisyong ginagawa nila para matupad ang kanilang tungkulin at maibigay ang mahahalagang serbisyo para sa publiko kaya nga bukod sa pagpuri at pagkilala sa kanila, nararapat lang na ibigay sa kanila ang wastong kompensasyon at benepisyo upang maipagpatuloy nila ang kanilang trabaho nang maayos at masigla,” the former PNP chief and Partido Reporma senatorial bet enthused.

Aside from the delayed release of salaries and benefits and other needs to frontline workers in the medical and personnel service sectors, it has also come to Eleazar’s knowledge that several thousands if contact tracers have yet to receive the compensation promised to them for the services they have rendered in tracing those persons who have been in contact with Covid-19 infected individuals.

“Nakarating sa akin na mag-aanim na buwan nang hindi na babayaran iyong mga contact tracers natin at talagang nagrereklamo sila lalo na ngayong malapit na ang Pasko at kailangan din naman nilang ipagdiwang ito na kasama ang kanilang mga pamilya subalit hindi nila basta magagawa ito kung wala pa sila ng mga suweldo,” he pointed out.

Rallying behind the continuing concern for proper recognition to their sacrifices, the protesters said that it has been more than a year since the pandemic started yet the government has yet to provide all Covid-19 benefits that are intended for them and promised to be released soon by Malacanang.

Despite being acknowledged as modern day heroes amid the country’s battle against the killer coronavirus, they said they are wondering why the Duterte administration has continued to neglect their plea and has shown an inefficiency to hear and favorably respond to their legitimate demands, appeals and needs in terms of their safety, well-being and the people’s right to quality health care.

“Thus, in time of Human Rights Day, we are united with our call to hold the Duterte government accountable for their continued violation of rights,” a press statement from the several protesting groups stated.


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