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Go calls for early payment of benefits for ‘restive’ frontline health workers

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Administration Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, taking the cue from President Duterte, pressed concerned agencies to front-load timely release of benefits for health workers deployed in the field in a continuing effort to contain the deadly Covid contagion.

This, shortly after Duterte’s directive to prioritize benefits for frontline health workers after commending them for their sacrifices and service to save lives.

The senator, sitting as current chairman of the Senate Committee on Health reaffirmed the President’s marching orders to make sure that health workers’ benefits are “immediately and sufficiently disbursed as provided by law.”

Go reminded in a news statement issued on Thursday that health workers are “the frontliners in the ongoing war against Covid-19,” which was why the Duterte administration  “should not waste time or resources in providing doctors, nurses and other qualified medical personnel what is due to them.”

“Our medical frontliners are the soldiers in this fight. They sacrifice their lives to save other peoples’ lives, which was why whatever [benefit] they deserve to get should be given right away and and not delay it any longer,” Go stressed.

The administration lawmaker recalled that President Duterte, in his Talk to the People address Tuesday, August 17, already asked Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to “make sure that the payment of health workers’ allowances remains a top priority.”

Go quoted Duterte telling Duque: “Itong frontliners, unahin mo na lang, if there is enough money, bayaran mo.”

At the same time, the senator recalled that under the Bayanihan 2 law, at least P15 billion was earmarked to pay health workers’ special risk allowance (SRA) and hazard pay, which he said  has been released to hospitals, according to Department of Health  DOH) Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega.

In addition, Sen. Go noted the DOH disbursed P10.85 billion for the SRA of 740,958 health workers, and another P4.24 billion for the hazard pay of 864,843 frontliners, as reported
by health department officials.

Meanwhile, the DOH clarified that health-care workers who failed to receive their SRA and hazard pay may have lacked several requirements to avail of these monetary benefits.

Still, Secretary Duque had assured they are “verifying and addressing concerns that some public health frontliners have not yet been paid.”

In turn, Go commended DOH officials for acting on the President’s directive, as well as their efforts in leading the country’s Covid-19 response and management of the pandemic, at the same time urging them to “remain focused on their tasks at hand despite the criticisms,” reminding that their job is to save lives.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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