File photo of Pinoy healthcare workers who took time out in the streets during work break as they demand the release of their SRAs (special risk allowances), and MATs (meals, allowance, transport) allowances before. (Photo courtesy by Reuters)
MANILA — “The government should focus on forging policies that will push our health care workers to stay in the country instead of going abroad in exchange for good fortune.
This is the statement of Sen. Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. after it was proposed to Congress that a healthcare worker should serve one year before working abroad.
Revilla explained that the intention of promoting the 1-year medical service is good but it would be better if a health worker voluntarily chooses to stay in the country because we can fight against the good opportunities that other countries provide.
“Let us give them more reasons to stay in our country instead of restricting them to leave. This will only happen if we can give them the opportunity to have a good job and an adequate salary. So let’s try to raise it together with others more benefits so that they are no longer forced to look for opportunities in other countries”, added Revilla.
According to Revilla, it is said that many of our healthcare workers cannot refuse the wave of the dollar because it is not insignificant that the ascent in other countries is faster than ours.
“Most of our health care workers can’t be given jobs anymore. The others, even pay the hospitals themselves just to get training even though there is no guarantee that they will be accepted. Then we will stop them from earning a living even if it happens to be in another country that accepted them” said the good Senator.
Revilla added that healthcare workers in the country are considered modern heroes because it has been proven several times, especially during the pandemic, so it is only fitting that a law can be passed that can raise their standard of living.
Revilla who is the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Civil Service, Government Reorganization and Professional Regulation previously submitted Senate Bill No. 1429 or the ‘Health Priority Act of 2022’ in the first month of last year to further improve the benefits of healthcare workers, whether private or public.
It includes that healthcare workers will have a 20% discount and be exempted from value-added tax (VAT) if they buy medicine such as for influenza and pneumococcal vaccines and other medical supplies, accessories, and equipment.
The proposal also includes personnel assigned to administrative, technical, support, staff assigned to hospitals, health facilities, laboratories, medical treatment, and monitoring facilities.
In this regard, Revilla also submitted Senate Bill No. 2018 which aims to increase the daily wage by P150 for all workers and if enacted, healthcare workers will also benefit from this.
During the 18th Congress, Revilla was also the principal author of Republic Act No. 11701 which provided night shift differential pay to all government employees including public health care workers who currently receive an additional not exceeding 20% of their basic hourly rate.
“The role played by our health care workers in our society is very important. I can’t imagine a tomorrow where we don’t have support in maintaining our health. So now let’s make sure that they are not neglected, rather, they are always appreciated and helped”, Revilla concluded.