healthcare workers

Health workers give DOH until August 31 to release withheld benefits

Bonz Magsambol
Health workers give DOH until August 31 to release withheld benefits

EXHAUSTED. Public health frontline workers rest after rushing a patient with COVID-19 to the state-run Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) in Cagayan de Oro City.

PHOTO COURTESY OF AICY SORIANO, CIO

'We strongly demand more actions than words,' says Alliance of Health Workers President Robert Mendoza

A health workers group on Tuesday, August 24, gave the Department of Health (DOH) until August 31 to release the withheld COVID-19 benefits due medical frontliners.

“We strongly demand more actions than words. Thus, we are giving the DOH until August 31, 2021 to implement the long overdue COVID-19 benefits to health workers,” said Alliance of Health Workers (AHW) president Robert Mendoza.

“With this deadline, we are all set to hold a series of protest actions this week as many among us got infected and succumbed to COVID-19 already without enjoying these much-deserved benefits,” he added.

On Saturday, August 21, President Rodrigo Duterte directed the DOH and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to give the unreleased benefits to health workers within 10 days.

In a statement on Tuesday, the DOH said that it was fast tracking the release of special risk allowance (SRA) to health workers after the President’s order.

“I have also given marching orders to concerned offices to comply with the directives of the President on distributing SRA to our healthcare workers within 10 days,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.

He addedd, “Dapat maibigay ang SRA ng mga healthcare workers natin na hindi pa nakakatanggap nito. Patuloy natin sisiguraduhin na makuha ng ating healthcare workers ang kanilang mga benepisyo na naayon sa ating batas.”

(The SRA of our healthcare workers should be given for those who haven’t received theirs yet. We will continue to make sure that our healthcare workers will receive the benefits due to them in accordance with law.)

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What you should know about COVID-19 hazard pay, special risk allowance

Based on a joint circular from the DOH and the DBM, eligible health workers may receive special risk allowance not exceeding P5,000 per month. It would cover the number of days the health workers physically reported to work in a month from September 15, 2020, until June 30, 2021. 

Health workers give DOH until August 31 to release withheld benefits

However, there were still a number of health workers who have yet to receive this benefit. Some of them have even died without getting the benefit. – Rappler.com

Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.