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Friday, April 12, 2024

Health workers press for SRA, want Duque to resign

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DONNED in their personal protective equipment (PPE), health-care workers (HCWs) on Wednesday held a protest in front of the Department of Health (DOH) in Manila to demand that the agency release the benefits due them, especially those mandated by pandemic laws. They also pressed for the resignation of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

The HCWs are not only demanding their special risk allowance (SRA) but also their meals, accommodation and transportation (MAT) benefits. The Alliance of Health Workers led the protest.

On Tuesday, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said most of the delays in the release of SRA were due to the requirements being complied with by some health facilities.

Vergeire said they are now trying to streamline the process as some HCWs have been protesting already for the delay of the release of their benefits.


Meanwhile, the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) said that they have nothing but great respect and appreciation for all the “untiring” health workers and staff who compose our hallowed institution, especially in this global pandemic.

On August 31, the RITM Employees Association-Alliance of Health Workers (RITMEA-AHW) mobilized to request for the non-abolition of RITM under the Philippine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Bill, and the granting of the SRA and MAT allowance.

The demonstration within RITM grounds lasted for 30 minutes, with safety officers on standby for the duration of the activities.

The Institute stressed that it has been participating in Philippine CDC Bill meetings organized by the House of Representatives, and now in the initial meetings of the Senate Committee on Health.

“RITM has likewise been submitting position papers at every level and conduct of such consultations. Internally, the Institute has composed a technical working group where strategic solutions are being planned to mitigate the Bill’s possible adverse impacts on tenure,” the RITM said.

As for employee allowances, RITM said that they provided all benefits in accordance with the provisions of the Republic Act No. 11494, otherwise known as the “Bayanihan to Recover as One Act,” related laws such as RA Nos. 11519 and 11520, and other subsequent issuances by concerned government agencies. These benefits included the active hazard duty pay; SRA; and the provision of free meals, free accommodations, and free shuttle services daily. At present, RITM is working alongside the DOH on being reconsidered for other additional allowances our qualified health workers and staff may avail.

“The Institute believes in freedom of speech as the fount of a strong nation-state. RITM also believes that the DOH remains sympathetic and accommodating to the needs of all health workers nationwide.”

The RITM assured that it shall continue its fight against Covid-19 and other tropical and infectious diseases “as a strong and united family, with great confidence that our health workers and staff will continue to be valued, protected, and provided for by the Department of Health.”

Image courtesy of Roy Domingo

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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